A new carpet, which will be installed in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, will help homeless people in need, a government official said.
The official, who declined to be identified, told reporters on Wednesday that the new carpet will replace a carpet in the capital’s Old City that had previously been damaged in the recent wave of protests and clashes.
The project, known as “Persian carpet” by the Turkish government, aims to address the problem of homelessness in Istanbul, which has a population of some 6.6 million, and the country’s growing urban poverty.
Earlier this month, the Turkish Parliament passed a law which granted a special tax break for construction projects on top of other local taxes.
As of this week, more than 6.5 million people have received a tax exemption, according to the Ministry of Finance.
“The carpet will be placed on top the existing carpet and it will also help alleviate the burden of homelessness,” the official said, according a state-run news agency.
A spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in the US, who did not want to be named, told Reuters news agency that the government is not ruling out other initiatives that will help address the homeless.
He said: “The government is working hard to solve homelessness and its root causes, including homelessness itself.”