Anti-capitalist Muslims hold iftar in Taksim again under tight police surveillance
Riot police stand guard, surrounding hundred of people seated, waiting for İftar, the evening meal in which Muslims break their fast at the time of sunset, during Ramadan in Istanbul. AP Photo / Emrah Gürel
The activist group anti-capitalist Muslims have repeated last years’ experience by organizing for the second time a fast-breaking dinner in Istanbul’s central İstiklal Avenue near the Taksim Square for the first day of Ramadan on June 28.
Tension arose when police refused at first to let the group, of over 1,000 people, to form trail tables on the pedestrian avenue despite the lack of incidents during similar events held last year.
After negotiations police eventually allowed the participants to set their iftar tables with just enough
time before the muezzin’s call, but they nevertheless formed a security cordon along the avenue.
The participants brought their own food and shared with one another while breaking fast in line with the group’s concept of “Yeryüzü Sofraları” (Earth Tables), which stresses modesty and conviviality while eating on the floor in a public area.
“We break our fast with bread, cheese and olives that everybody has brought. This is the meaning of the earth table,” she added.
The group peacefully dispersed after the iftar. Anti-capitalist Muslims came into the spotlight during the Gezi demonstrations last year by fully embracing the protests.
The first iftar on İstiklal came when tension was at its peak following repeated crackdowns on protesters and the brutal evacuation of the park at the end of last June.