Turkey's PM Puts Park Development Plan on Hold Following Protests

Despite taking hard line against demonstrators


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered his most conciliatory speech since anti-government demonstrations began two weeks ago, saying plans to develop an Istanbul park are on hold and the message from protesters has been received.

Erdogan said there'll be no redevelopment of Gezi Park in Taksim Square, where protesters have been gathered for more than two weeks, until a court rules on the issue, and after that only if the plan is approved in a public vote. Speaking at a meeting with officials from his party in Ankara, the premier urged the demonstrators to leave today, saying that would enable police to tackle "illegal groups" that have become involved.