Shop owners in Taksim area organize festive ‘we want music not tear gas’ event
ISTANBULThe shop owners of Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district have organized a festive event together with the Taksim Solidarity Platform in order to soothe the tensions that arose during the repeated police crackdowns against demonstrations in the area, especially at weekends.
Concerts were given on stages set up on Ayhan Işık and Gazeteci Erol Dernek streets which intersect with the İstiklal Avenue, where the latest police crackdowns took place.
The event, held under the slogan “We want music not tear gas,” also aimed to draw attention to the difficulties of the shop owners due to the crackdowns that became ordinary since the protest wave sparked after the outcry over an attempt to demolish Gezi Park, the main green lung of the area.
The opposition to a redevelopment project in the park spread across the country transforming into a generalized outpouring of discontent with the government’s policies.
During the latest demonstrations on Saturday, some shop owners were seen angrily threatening reporters and bystanders with batons.
Shop owners from the area also visited Mustafa Ali Tombul, a young protester who came out of a coma after being hit by a tear gas canister on his head.