Turkey seeks negotiated end to anti-government protests

June 14, 2013 01:47

ISTANBUL/ANKARA - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the governor of Istanbul made what appeared to be final efforts to end two weeks of anti-government unrest by negotiation on Friday, meeting opponents of controversial plans to redevelop a city park.

Erdogan met a delegation mostly made up of actors and artists but also including two members of the umbrella protest group Taksim Solidarity, hours after saying his patience had run out and warning protesters occupying Gezi Park to leave.

Separately, Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu offered to meet demonstrators from Taksim Square, the epicentre of the protests, at a cafe by the Bosphorus waterway to discuss their demands that the government abandon plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks on the park, which adjoins Taksim.

"For those who want to talk face to face tonight, from midnight we will talk in groups, if necessary until morning," Mutlu said on his Twitter account.

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