Istanbul starts seventh day of protests with tear gas

Istanbul starts seventh day of protests with tear gas

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul starts seventh day of protests with tear gas

DHA Photo

Clashes erupted between police and protestors in Istanbul's Beşiktaş district in the early hours of this morning, Doğan news agency has reported.

Many citizens and students heading to their jobs and schools have been affected by tear gas used by police against protesters while traffic police on Dolmabahçe Street were wearing masks to avoid the gas.

Meanwhile, municipal teams were working to remove the metal jungle which was deployed as barricades on roads during the protests in the neighborhood, reports said.

Gezi Park protests continued in Beşiktaş, around Turkey

Taksim Square remained calm for the second straight night following days of tension, but clashes between police and citizens protesting the demolition of the square’s park continued in Beşiktaş, Ankara, İzmir and elsewhere in Turkey on June 2.

Beşiktaş had been the site of a second straight day of violence as police battle protesters, particularly around the Akaretler neighborhood, which is close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s Istanbul office at Dolmabahçe Palace. Television pictures showed the streets of the neighborhood engulfed in massive clouds of tear gas.

According to reports, protesters in Akaretler have formed a kilometer-long chain to pass along materials for the construction of a barricade against the police. Between 3,000 and 5,000 are protesting in the area, according to Al-Jazeera.

BBC Türkçe reported that protesters had erected barricades around Kabataş, which is near Beşiktaş on the coastal Bosphorus road, along with solidarity protests from citizens who have been banging pots and pans to demonstrate against the government and police.

Similar pots-and-pans protests were conducted in neighborhoods across Istanbul and the country.

Elsewhere in the city, police reportedly deployed tear gas against demonstrators in Sultangazi’s Gazi neighborhood, which has long been famous as a crucible of anti-government sentiment.

In Sarıgazi in Istanbul’s Anatolian side district of Sancaktape, police reportedly fired into the air in the course of breaking up a march that began at dusk. Several people were injured in the clashes, including at least four with broken limbs, according to reports.

Police also reportedly prevented a group of protesters from marching across the Bosphorus Bridge to Beşiktaş in a repeat of an unprecendented action early on June 1.

As the clashes continued toward midnight, there were reports of numerous injuries in Ankara in the areas around Tunali Hilmi, Kızılay and Güven Parkı, as well as news that police had fired gas bombs at a makeshift hospital that was treating wounded demonstrators. Many protesters were also reported to have been detained by police.

Around 1,000 people have been left injured in Istanbul, while another 700 have been wounded in Ankara during the past three days of conflict, the Turkish Doctors Association has said.

Meanwhile, tension has risen in the western province of İzmir and the southern province of Adana as police forces attacked demonstrators organizing solidarity protests. Demonstrators in Adana told BBC Türkçe that police were using harsh methods as they took protesters into custody.

Photos released by Doğan news agency show policemen using batons and pulling young girls' hair while intervening in incidents in İzmir. Some protesters have also been detained, reports said.

Around 5,000 people attempted to march from Cumhuriyet Park in the northwestern province of Kocaeli toward a local Justice and Development Party (AKP) building, but they were met by police who fired tear gas, causing the crowd to disperse and seek shelter on side streets. Police subsequently pursued the demonstrators, reportedly taking around 100 people into custody.

There were also reports of clashes in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir.