Police seal off Istanbul's Gezi Park ahead of protester couple’s wedding
As the crowd gathered at Taksim Square for the wedding, police cordoned off the entrance to Gezi Park, announcing that they would not allow the wedding ceremony to take place. When the crowd refused to disperse, police once again resorted to water cannon. AFP photoRiot police have closed access to Gezi Park ahead of a wedding for a couple that met during the first wave of Gezi protests and had planned to symbolically tie the knot at the park, before firing water cannon at the crowd gathered for the event.
As the crowd gathered for the wedding, police cordoned off the entrance, announcing they would not allow the wedding ceremony to take place.
Police then pushed back the crowd onto the İstiklal Avenue entrance of Taksim Square. What was initially planned as a wedding transformed into a demonstration, and police fired water cannon after protestors refused to disperse.
Police chased some of the protesters into the side streets, cutting off some of the pedestrian entrances to the İstiklal Avenue. Some protesters have also been detained, according to reports.
Police reopened the park a couple of hours after the intervention, around 7:45 p.m., according to daily Hürriyet.
Couple head to Gezi after marrying at municipality
The couple, Nuray and Özgür, headed to the park after marrying at the Şişli district’s municipality building.
Nuray, a trained nurse, and Özgür tied
the knot at Şişli district's municipality
building before heading to Gezi Park.
Despite sealing off the park for more than two hours at first and firing water cannon at the crowd, the police agreed to let the group enter the park for a short time to take pictures.
But police officers interrupted the party, forcibly ejecting the newly-weds and restricting access to the park once again.
Nuray, a trained nurse, and Özgür, a partially trained doctor who abandoned medical school, met in the first days of the unrest when Nuray turned her house into an infirmary to treat injured demonstrators, according to a friend.
The couple had invited all protesters and those that identify themselves as “chapullers” or “çapulcu” – a name originally used by the prime minister to denigrate the protesters but which has since become a badge of honor for resisters – to their wedding at the symbolic location.