Police detain protesters as thousands gather at Taksim Square

Police detain protesters as thousands gather at Taksim Square

Police detain protesters as thousands gather at Taksim Square

Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo

Thousands of protesters gathered at Taksim Square June 29 to denounce the government's response to the Gezi Park protests, a week after another demonstration was quelled with water cannons and tear gas. The demonstration was carried out peacefully without tension and most of the protesters dispersed after a couple of hours following the police’s warning to end the gathering.

Riot police pushed the remainder away from the square with shields and slow moving water cannon trucks, but no water was fired. Announcements were made for protesters to return to their homes.

However, some of the protesters remained in the surroundings of the Taksim area, so police entered the side streets in pursuit of them. Over 10 protestors were detained, according to daily Hürriyet. Live footage showed officers in plainclothes taking protesters into custody. 


Thousands gathered once again in Taksim
Square to protest against police violence 
during the Gezi protests. REUTERS photo

Security forces also cordoned off the entrances to the İstiklal Avenue, where intense clashes took place in previous weeks. Witnesses said police also used rubber bullets. 

Earlier, the Taksim Solidarity Platform called on protesters to report themselves to prosecutors to sign petitions in which they would take full responsibility for their participation in the demonstrations. “We will gather in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse to hand the petitions that say ‘We are here and we are taking the whole responsibility,'" a spokesman for the platform said in a statement.  

Many protesters had also gathered to protest the killing of a demonstrator by security forces in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır’s Lice district. Many protesters chanted slogans in support for Lice. 

Intervention in Ankara

Meanwhile, police used tear gas and water cannons to quell a group of 250 protesters gathered at Kurtuluş Park, near Ankara University. Police chased the group inside the park and many bystanders were affected by the gas.

The group had denounced the killing of Ethem Sarısülük, a demonstrator in Ankara who was shot by police during the early days of the Gezi protests. Demonstrators also chanted slogans for Medeni Yıldırım.

The Gezi Park protests in Ankara over the last month were among those most brutally repressed by the police. Tension also escalated in the Dikmen neighborhood, where clashes between police and protesters break out almost every night.