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Taksim Gezi Park

Taksim Gezi Park
Taksim Gezi Park is a city park in Istanbul next to Taksim Square in the Beyoglu district that was historically known as Pera.  Taksim Gezi Park is one of the last green spaces left in Beyoglu and also one of the smallest parks in Istanbul.  

Building Shopping Center and Military Barracks

In May 2013 the government made plans to replace the park with a reconstruction of the former Taksim Military Barracks that were demolished in 1940 that would contain a shopping mall which led to the 2013 nationwide protests in Turkey.  Taksim Gezi Park was built on the former site of the large square shaped Halil Pasha Artillery Barracks, a complex with an extensive open drill ground area that had been built in 1806 close to the Frank and Armenian burial grounds or the former Grand Champs des Morts. 

Pangalti Armenian Cemetery

Armenian tombstones from the Pangalti Armenian Cemetery were discovered in 2013 during excavations for the tunnel at Cumhuriyet Avenue which was part of the pedestrian project of Taksim Square and from 1560 to 1939 the Pangalti Armenian Cemetery was at the northern section of today's Gezi Park, in the area of Surp Agop Hospital and covered 30 hectares (74 acres) between Taksim , Nisantasi and Macka stretching to the Bosphorus and included Dolmabahce Valley.  

Protests over the Demolition Taksim Gezi Park

The covering area of the park was reduced in later years when the outlying zone was constructed with big hotels. However, the park remained an important recreational area in this downtown part of the city and after further restoration its appearance was greatly improved. 

When people became aware of the plans to change the park to a shopping centre and possible residential accommodation, the huge and sometimes violent, protest began and today the future of Gezi Park remains unknown.

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