News / Europe

Anti-Government Protests Subside in Turkey

A man walks past a damaged road in Taksim Square where police and anti-government protesters clashed in central Istanbul, June 2, 2013.
A man walks past a damaged road in Taksim Square where police and anti-government protesters clashed in central Istanbul, June 2, 2013.
Dorian Jones
— Turkey was relatively calm Sunday after two days of nationwide anti-government protests.  Police in Ankara used tear gas to break up a march, but hundreds of activists celebrated in Istanbul’s Taksim Square after police withdrew. 

The unrest - the worst during the decade-long rule of the Islamic rooted AK Party - started in Istanbul with a protest against a shopping mall. 

Thousands of protesters celebrated long in the night in Istanbul’s Taksim Square.  The square had been ground zero in two days of running battles between security forces and protesters that engulfed much of the city center.  But following the intervention of the Turkish president, police withdrew.  Among many demonstrators there is a sense of empowerment.

"This is the first ever time that all the nation came together even the football teams, other nationalities, other religions, all one group and that gives me goose bumps," says a protester.

But clashes with the security forces continued in other parts of Istanbul into late Saturday. Some of the worst were around the residence of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The unrest started as a protest against a shopping mall in one of Istanbul’s last remaining parks, but turned into a demonstration against the prime minister after hard-line tactics by the police.  The demonstrators accused Erodgan of acting in an increasingly authoritarian way.

According to the interior minister, 90 protests occurred in 48 Turkish cites.  More than 1,000 people have been detained and many more were injured, some seriously.  The government has faced widespread international condemnation over heavy-handed actions by the security forces.

Interior Minister Muammer Guler said an investigation into the police has started, and warned there could be prosecutions.  

Many Turkish newspapers Sunday declared victory for the demonstrators.  With rain falling in Istanbul in early in the day, the protesters largely dissipated.  A major cleanup is now going on, and observers say it remains unclear where the protests will go from here.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
June 02, 2013 3:27 PM
The people of Turkey should calm the heck down. This is all over a park to begin with. Regardless if there was some injustice with the police involved, they will likely improve their methods to enforce things peacefully. Give peace a chance, and bring these issues up before the government instead of taking things into your own hands. A petition might of averted this entire mess to begin with.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid