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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

1855 Slave Brochure Starkly Details Sale of Black Americans

Document lists entire families that were up for sale in New Orleans, offering graphic insight into the slavery trade More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs