LOCAL > Police use tear gas and enter Taksim Square for second time in day

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

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Protesters continue to gather in Taksim square before being dispersed again by riot police, in Istanbul June 11. REUTERS photo

Protesters continue to gather in Taksim square before being dispersed again by riot police, in Istanbul June 11. REUTERS photo

Riot police once again used tear gas and water cannon at around 8:20 p.m against protesters that had gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square June 11.

Dozens of riot police were seen surrounding all the roads leading to the square. Some injuries were reported by private broadcaster CNNTürk as ambulances were dispatched to the site.

The governor of Istanbul said via Twitter a few minutes after intervention that “marginal groups” had attacked the police who were stationed in front of the Atatürk Cultural Center, by the Taksim Square. 

“I plead with citizens at the site to separate themselves from this marginal group and abandon the square. It is important that our demand is carried out for everyone’s security,” Hüseyin Avni Mutlu wrote, calling on citizens “not to worry”. 

Television footage showed a few protesters near the AKM building throwing fireworks at police officers.

A van parked to boost cell phone reception was burning dangerously in the middle of the square.

Another two fires have also been set in the square, one in front of the Atatürk Cultural Center and the other at the edge of the construction zone for the ongoing controversial pedestrianization project.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of protesters from Gazi, a neighborhood in the European-side district of Sultangazi that is famous as one of the most left-wing urban areas in Turkey, briefly halted traffic by marching down the TEM Highway in support for the demonstrators in Taksim. The protesters from Gazi, which has been the site of numerous demonstrations against the government since the unrest began, later returned to their neighborhood.

Following the intervention, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called its Central Executive Board for an emergency meeting at 1:30 a.m.

Call for rally

Crowds started to fill the square following a call from the Taksim Solidarity Platform for a rally that started at 7 p.m. following an all-day police intervention in central Istanbul.

The platform, an initiative organized to prevent a development project in Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park, called on everyone to support the ongoing protest at Gezi Park after the police entered the square at 7:30 a.m.

The platform voiced its concerns over the police intervention at Taksim and Gezi Park today, saying that none of the protesters demands had been realized by now, in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

The protesters discussed their concerns of police crackdown, while the police had assured them that no intervention was planned unless the protesters tried to hang banners on the Atatürk statue and the AKM cultural center, or throw stones at police officials.


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Notice on comments

sam stevens

6/13/2013 12:19:31 AM

Imad. You are wrong, Europeans would never use the water cannon,tear gas or rubber bullets for a peaceful protest. This whole business was caused by the original brutal police intervention. Why did they do it,that's what you should be asking ?

Recep Ozel

6/12/2013 5:45:24 PM

Democracy is not having the right to vote for an increasingly limited number of political parties every 4 years. Democracy is freedom of expression, freedom of speech, the right to protest without repercussions, and ongoing inclusive politics where all parts of the public are continually consulted. That is why the US and the UK allow 2% of their population to build mosques, and preach islam... Unlike the UK and US, even 50% of Turkey should not have rights of expression according to our PM!!

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

6/12/2013 5:11:33 PM

Subhan Azeri: "Security forces" are not for security in Turkey. Next time try to ask for help from security forces, lets see how fast you will change your mind.

Dr Bob

6/12/2013 3:38:10 PM

@Subhan Azeri: Maybe "you guys" rather prefer an "Aliyev-style" democracy. We, the grandchildren of Atatürks republic, do not! These guys on the street are not pawns in a political game. They are victims of sole internal oppression while making use of their legitimate democratic rights. Democracy isn't just winning the ballot box or boosting economy. It is much more than that! One day RTE will understand -- or maybe never.

Imad Hani

6/12/2013 3:31:07 PM

Thank you Abdulhakeem , you are right, that how they destroyed Russia for a pair of jeans and McDonald junk food in the name of democracy


6/12/2013 3:03:03 PM

@DutchTurk JANICAR. I'm confused when you say "throw rocks and fire bombs at our police" do you mean they are throwing these rocks and bombs as far as Holland?

Subhan Azeri

6/12/2013 1:44:49 PM

Salute to Turkish police and security forces! It's time to restore the order for the sake of Turkish nation and state. These guys on the street are the pawns in a political game...

Dr Bob

6/12/2013 12:31:50 PM

It seems to me that some observers from abroad have the perception that a well fed people relying upon a prospering economy has to shut up while monitoring the destruction of the secular order, media, democracy and personal freedom in Turkey. They couldn't be more mistaken. The uprising secular elites ARE the economic backbone of this country. Those people deserve better than being treated like dumb animals. ALL people of Turkey do derve better - INCLUDING the credulous supporters of AKP.

A European

6/12/2013 12:04:32 PM

This is an appauling violation of human rights by the Turkish police force and the Turkish government. You can forget ever joining the European Union. Egmen Bagis now needs a new job, because the EU doors are closed.

Imad Hani

6/12/2013 11:46:17 AM

Sorry and without any Prejudice , reading through comments , I can see that European, or western names call for riots to continue while others are asking to stop demonstrations and continue to further develop their country , using tear gas and water canon is not restricted to Turkish government only, is has been used by the so called democratic counties in Europe too. any of you would do the same regardless of the country you come from , sure you would not welcome demonstrators with roses
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