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LOCAL > Taksim Gezi Park reopened at midnight after police crackdown

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Istanbul's Gezi Park was reopened for the second time yesterday night following a harsh police crackdown to empty the park and to disperse people gathering in Taksim after a decision to close the park on the same day.

The park was opened to public use again at around 11:45 p.m. Around 500 people entered the park following the second opening and shouted slogans to protest the government.

Harsh police crackdown empties Istanbul’s Gezi Park, Taksim Square

Riot police used tear gas, water cannon, and plastic bullets to disperse people who had arrived at Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square yesterday night, despite the park earlier being officially opened to public.

A 17-year-old boy was severely injured in the head by a gas canister yesterday on İstiklal Avenue, daily Hürriyet reported. A quarrel had occurred between the protesters and business owners when the police intervened with tear gas.

During the police crackdown, around six gas canisters were fired into the garden of the British Consulate off a sidestreet near İstiklal Avenue. British Consul-General Leigh Turner tweeted a picture showing a gas canister within the grounds of the consulate.

Many people, including members of NGOs such as the Taksim Solidarity Platform and the Turkish Doctors Association, were taken into custody in the crackdown.

Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu told television reporters that 37 people were detained, including seven Taksim Solidarity Platform members, after the police began dispersing people from Gezi Park and Taksim Square.

Witnesses suggested dozens of people had been detained, including Mücella Yapıcı, a spokesperson for the Taksim Solidarity Platform and a representative of the Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB), and Ali Çerkezoğlu, general secretary of the Istanbul Medical Chamber, according to daily Radikal.

A man who was caught on camera firing his gun into open at July 8 Gezi Park protests is currently detained, according to Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu.

Three hours after the reopening ceremony, police closed entrances not only to the park, but also the roads leading to the city center, including Harbiye, Gümüşsuyu and İstiklal Avenue, the most populated point of the city.

The park had been emptied and closed off in a brutal police crackdown on June 15.

July/08/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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lara ulusoy

7/9/2013 7:06:38 PM

Dear God... Don't these people have homes to go to!? They are there out of emptiness and having nothing else to do. Don't they realize that they are actually affecting other people's earnings...Where are their families??? I hope they are not leaving their children behind in order to defend alcohol freedom!!!

Dayna Lewis

7/9/2013 7:02:38 PM

@DuchTurk the ones causing local shop owners to lose business are the heavy handed police....the people supporting Gezi if left in peace frequent the local shops for their needs Did you not see the anger of the shop owners towards the police near çiçek passage last night...they were trying to run businesss as usual and because two or three people carrying signs walked by the police threw gas bombs which had negative affect on their customers

american american

7/9/2013 6:54:22 PM

dutch european, that was the egyptian public's sentiment towards morsi and the mb...and yet you still cry foul.

K M

7/9/2013 5:08:03 PM

Absolutely shameful that people would want to use a park after all the work that went into it. Don't they realize that Public means AKP only, Turkish means bearded or headscarved (or both!) and the rest aren't wanted ... only their money.

Dave Chapman

7/9/2013 4:37:00 PM

SUBHAN & DUTCHTURK: you think this might actually have been a celebratory re-entry of the park has been saved? Only to be thwarted by the cops again by gas and canon AND leaving a 17 year old in serious condition. Ask yourselves who is causing the trouble, but first take your blinkered idiot hats off. What is it you don't understand?!! How is it you don't understand???

Subhan Azeri

7/9/2013 4:03:27 PM

These people don't know what they want. Only mindset is protest. What?! Well, don't know exactly, but as long as it stirs unrest against Erdogan government...

Dr. Prof. Novnesense

7/9/2013 2:54:02 PM

These leaders are certainly creating one mess after another. They do not understand how to solve this situation. I have to say that this is probably the most incompetent handelling of a situation that I have ever witnessed.

sonnudagreat

7/9/2013 11:17:30 AM

smoke weed :) you will feel good and will do good :) and yeah pass it your mates too :)

sam stevens

7/9/2013 10:52:08 AM

So the control freaks are still at it, shameful !

Çılgın Kanarya

7/9/2013 8:39:12 AM

Thanks MARA, I think I'd prefer an Ottoman Slap to a gas canister in the head though :)
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