LOCAL > Taksim park protests in 4th day amid police crackdown


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Police forces attacked Taksim Gezi Park protesters at dawn with tear gas and violence for a second consecutive day this morning. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

Police forces attacked Taksim Gezi Park protesters at dawn with tear gas and violence for a second consecutive day this morning. DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah GÜREL

Police forces attacked Taksim Gezi Park protesters at dawn with tear gas and violence for a second consecutive day this morning in a new attempt to disperse crowds protesting the planned construction of a new mall.

Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu said a total of 12 protesters had been injured in the crackdown. Earlier the Istanbul Chamber of Medicine had stated that seven people have been seriously injured, with six people suffering from serious head trauma and a teacher’s leg having been broken. However, according to witnesses' accounts the number is significantly higher. 

Protesters have been staging an “Occupy Gezi Park” since May 26 to prevent the demolition of the park, and police forces continued efforts to end the protest, conducting a dawn raid similar to the one conducted on May 30.

Protesters had to escape to nearby streets to shelter from the tear gas. A wall that protesters attempted to climb over collapsed, leaving a number of people badly injured.

According to social media reports, police continued to pursue protesters in various directions after their attack on the demonstrators.

MP's tweets cause row

Meanwhile, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Istanbul deputy Şirin Ünal mocked the protesters on his Twitter account, supporting the police’s heavy-handed use of gas. “Obviously there are some people in need of gas,” Ünal posted.

“If you leave there [Taksim Square] I hope you will have a good day, the system needs to be obeyed,” he also tweeted. His tweets drew an intense reaction from other social media users.

Journalist hospitalized


Journalist Ahmet Şık recieved head injuries in the clashes.  AA photo 


Ahmet Şık, a journalist for daily Posta and daily BirGün, was hospitalized due to a tear gas canister reportedly hitting him in the head, according to reporters on the ground.

Hürriyet Daily News photo-reporter Emrah Gürel has also been injured in the leg.

Gezi Park is a small area, Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Eroğlu said, adding that there was only a limited number of trees. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has previously voiced his determination to demolish the park and replace it with a shopping mall.

“Do whatever you want to do, but we’ve made our decision,” Erdoğan said.

Amnesty International condemns 'use of excessive force' at Taksim


DAILY NEWS photo / Emrah Gürel

Amnesty International has condemned “the use of excessive force, including pepper spray, against peaceful protestors in a park in central Istanbul.” 

The statement notes that “[at] least one protestor was seriously injured, needing emergency surgery.

“In the early hours of 30 May, police moved in to destroy their tents, and used pepper spray to disperse the protestors. A 23-year-old protestor was seriously injured after sprayed with tear gas, kicked and hit by police when he was holding onto a tree. Any decision to disperse an assembly should be taken only as a last resort and in line with the principles of necessity and  proportionality.

"International standards require that in dispersing assemblies, police must avoid the use of force or, where that is not practicable, must restrict any such force to the minimum necessary. Amnesty International calls on the authorities to carry out a prompt, independent and impartial investigation into the allegations of excessive and unnecessary use of force, and ensure that any law enforcement officials responsible for arbitrary or abusive use of force to be prosecuted. Amnesty International also calls on the authorities to ensure protestors’ rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression,” the statement read.



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Notice on comments

Marie Nabob

6/1/2013 4:51:24 PM

Erdogan's relatives (son-in-law) has business interests for the future mall. Find the information, expose it.

The Maldito Roedor

6/1/2013 9:55:21 AM

Our support from Madrid, greetings to turkish people #ocupalaplaza #democraciarealya 15M #OWS Tear gas is low range chemical weapons, but chemical weapons anyway. Stop using chemical weapons against peaceful protesters The Maldito Roedor

Mark Tak

6/1/2013 9:18:15 AM

This is the begining of the end of AKP and Tayyip Erdogan, go Turks show the World that you can do and change your leader if he thinks he is the king,

american american

5/31/2013 6:06:14 PM

if any of the injured die, i am sure akp will honor their precedent and compensate the families with a million dollars and an apology

Çılgın Kanarya

5/31/2013 5:00:13 PM

Is it just me, or is the AKP dictatorship feeling ever more emboldened since their successful passing of the alcohol bill last week? From the politicians & local governors, to their thuggish foot soldiers, such as the police & religiously conservative youth groups, their rhetoric & behaviour seems to be getting more brazen by the day. I can sense they now perceive that the long, slow battle for complete control is drawing to a close, & they are getting intoxicated on their 'untouchable' status.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

5/31/2013 4:57:16 PM

I would never enter to that mall (AVM) or use any service offered in that complex.


5/31/2013 4:33:24 PM

The AKP uses chemicals and excessive force on its own population - and laughs about it. It dreams of annihilating atheists. Truly these are the democrats. (Well, if one happens to be Mr. Akyol.)


5/31/2013 4:07:57 PM

Well done!

Tracy Lockett

5/31/2013 3:25:38 PM

What a wonderful sight for tourists to see - I'm sure they will return to see more and breathe in the chemicals of the tear gas. Maybe now it's time for an election. By the numbers turning out for the protest surely the people should have a say in this. Istanbul is so poluted and the trees give out much needed oxygen - you talk about taking down tower blocks because they spoil the view - look at your insides full of polution! Leave this park alone!!!!!


5/31/2013 3:02:59 PM

if nobody wants mall in there and preserve green area why is MR RTE still wants for whom ?...if it's for people then can you not hear the voices they don't want I repeat they don't want ....you earn big salary + @#@~' but this people who's trying to protect this green area their pay will be cut may be even lose their job ....perhaps he is thinking to buy space in heaven hahahahahahahahahah
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