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Turkish PM Appeals to Protesters to Evacuate Park

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appealed to protesters to evacuate an Istanbul park by late Friday, after pledging to suspend plans to redevelop the site.

In a televised speech Friday, Mr. Erdogan said the protesters have remained in the park long enough and have delivered their message. He said that message has been "received and evaluated."

Last month, a peaceful sit-in to save Istanbul's Gezi Park from commercial development erupted into nationwide anti-government protests.

Demonstrators and police have clashed during the protests, leaving four people dead, about 5,000 injured, and thousands of others arrested.

Anti-government protesters who met early Friday with Mr. Erdogan said he pledged to hold off on redeveloping Gezi Park until a court rules on the project.



The opposition delegation that met with the prime minister included artists, actors and singers. The group said Mr. Erdogan promised to hold a referendum on the park project, if the court rules in the government's favor.

Protesters gathered in Gezi Park vowed to stay despite Mr. Erdogan's "final warning" to the marchers late Thursday. The prime minister gave those, he calls, "troublemakers" 24 hours to clear out of Istanbul's Taksim Square.
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