kimmelman’s taksim article quotations

original article can be read from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/08/world/europe/in-istanbuls-taksim-square-an-achilles-heel.html?pagewanted=1&ref=michaelkimmelman

… And it’s no wonder. Taksim’s very urban fabric — fluid, irregular, open and unpredictable — reflects the area’s historic identity as the heart of modern, multicultural Turkey. This was where poor European immigrants settled during the 19th century. It was a honky-tonk quarter into the 1980s, a haven to gays and lesbians, a locus of nightclubs, foreign movie palaces and French-style covered arcades. Gravestones from an Armenian cemetery at Taksim demolished in 1939 were used to construct stairs at Gezi Park, a republican-era project by the French planner Henri Prost that is like the jumble of high-rise hotels, traffic circles and the now-shuttered opera house on the square, named after Ataturk. It is a symbol of modernity. …

…“Public space equals an urban, cosmopolitan identity,” is how Gokhan Karakus, an architecture critic here, phrased it. “That’s exactly what the prime minister doesn’t like. Turkish people who have taken over Gezi Park in protest feel it is truly theirs, not something awarded to them by their leaders, so in that sense the move to destroy it has backfired on him.”…

 

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