Banners, tents removed from Kuğulu Park on police request

Banners, tents removed from Kuğulu Park on police request

Banners, tents removed from Kuğulu Park on police request

The protestors in Ankara’s Kuğulu Park removed their banners and tents following a request from police officals. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

The protestors in Ankara’s Kuğulu Park removed their banners and tents today following a request from police officals.

Despite the harsh crackdown on protestors in Kızılay, who gather to show solidarity with the Gezi Park protests across the country, the protests in Kuğulu Park were relatively peaceful. There were a few tents and banners in the park, which were removed today after a bargain with police officials. The police left the area following the removal, daily Hürriyet reported on its website.

Yesterday, residents of Ankara were hit by an unexpected wave of fresh air, as the capital experienced its first tear gas-free evening in days amid a demonstration by thousands of protesters in Kuğulu Park out of solidarity with Taksim Gezi Park.

Thousands arrived to Kuğulu Park to “chapul,” a verb coined particularly for the protests after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan depicted the demonstrators as “çapulcu,” meaning “marauders.”

An ever-greater number of protesters arrived at the Ankarapark yesterday, possibly in response to Erdoğan’s arrival back in the country after a trip to North Africa.

Protesters initially gathered in Kuğulu Park, a venue that suffered an unexpectedly harsh police intervention the day before, with police firing countless tear gas capsules that affected people on the streets and residents in the area.

Kuğulu Park was decorated with placards and graffiti, and one of the symbols of the park, the statue of Tunalı Hilmi, who the connecting avenue was named after, was dressed as a protester with a gas mask, holding placards and a Turkish flag.

In the following hours, the park and Tunalı Hilmi Avenue filled with people, although protesters paid special attention to avoid blocking traffic. The call was designed to avoid giving police an excuse to attack the event after Muammer Güler, the interior minister, argued that they were forced to move against protesters in Kuğulu Park on June 5 because the regular flow of life had been hindered by traffic blockages caused by the protesters.

After 9 p.m., thousands began to march from Tunalı Hilmi to Kızılay, although the crowd abstained from using Atatürk Boulevard, where protesters have frequently been attacked by police. Water cannon and squads of police officers guarded the route to the Parliament and the Prime Minister’s Office.

In Kızılay, collectives including the Halkevleri (People’s Houses) continued to demonstrate, albeit without suffering an attack by the police.

Deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), including Aylin Nazlıaka, Aytun Ciray, Engin Altay, Gürkut Acar, Malik Ecder Özdemir, Süheyl Batum, Yakup Akkaya, Kazım Kurty and the CHP’s Women’s Branch chair, Hilal Dokuzcan, among others, were also present at the Kuğulu Park to support the protest.