Police seal off Istanbul’s Gezi Park on eve of protest anniversary

Police seal off Istanbul’s Gezi Park on eve of protest anniversary

ISTANBUL
Police seal off Istanbul’s Gezi Park on eve of protest anniversary

The police have closed off access to Istanbul’s Gezi Park on the eve of the anniversary of anti-government protests that shook Turkey in 2013, Doğan News Agency has reported. 

Police sealed Gezi Park’s entrances with barriers early on the morning of May 30, according to the report.

Taksim Solidarity, one of the leading groups formed to represent Gezi Park protesters, had earlier announced that an event to mark the protests’ fifth anniversary would be held at 7 p.m. on May 31 at the iconic park.

“As the Taksim Solidarity, we’ll go to the park with flowers in our hands and peace and friendship in our hearts in order to remember our children and look after their demands,” the group’s secretary general Mücella Yapıcı said in a written statement. 

The Gezi protests erupted on May 27, 2013, when a small group of young protesters refused to leave Gezi Park in Taksim in order to prevent the cutting down of trees for a large development project planned by the government.

Following the government’s harsh response, protests spread to the whole country on May 31, 2013. During the protests, 11 people were killed by the police, including eight youngsters, as more than 8,000 others were injured, dozens of them critically.

Gezi Park, Taksim, sealed, protests, anniversary