News / Europe

Turkish Police Use Tear Gas On Protesters

People walk inside Gezi Park at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 8, 2013. Istanbul's governor re-opened the park that was at the center of weeks of anti-government protests.
People walk inside Gezi Park at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, July 8, 2013. Istanbul's governor re-opened the park that was at the center of weeks of anti-government protests.
VOA News
Turkish riot police fired tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets Monday to disperse protesters who tried to enter an Istanbul park that has been at the center of anti-government demonstrations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu had earlier announced the reopening of Gezi Park at the city's landmark Taksim Square, but warned he would not allow it to become a point for more demonstrations or occupation.

About three hours later, police moved on protesters who tried to defy his directive.

"We came here after we heard that the park was opened, but now we heard it will be closed again," said Istanbul resident Isil Gecer. "We don't know if the governor is playing games with us. We have legal rights to be here. We have a court order but they still don't let us stay here." 

Gezi Park had been cordoned off since June 15, when riot police expelled thousands of environmentalists who were protesting plans to remove a large number of trees and redevelop the area.

The unrest grew into nationwide demonstrations against Erdogan, who critics accuse of ruling in an increasingly authoritarian style.

The unrest died down in late June, but Saturday police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters who sought to march on Taksim Square and the adjoining park.

Last week, an Istanbul court announced it had halted the government-backed Taksim Square redevelopment project, ruling the plan lacked required input from local residents, committees that protect natural and cultural assets, and district authorities.

State authorities can appeal the decision.

Professional groups representing Turkish architects, city planners and landscape architects had filed a lawsuit last year challenging the redevelopment plan.

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by: otto from: TURKEY
July 08, 2013 9:04 PM
yes there is a dissidence of the police to the protesters. But nobody should exagerate the situations like "Turkish Police Use Tear Gas On Protesters", "police's abuse to the protesters" ... Because it is outstanding truth that the country in which the police's authorization is the lowest is Turkey. We have only gas for stopping the violence and we do not do any other thing . Also how would you expect to respond to people who're getting provoked by the outsider power's hands and terrorists. I really can not understand why American media are trying to exagerate and publish these thiings. Because the whole world knows how are the polices of this country. Will you give the same publicities for your own polices ??? We sees from youtube the videos of polices shooting for very small reasons to people.So what everybody havs to do is to publish everything as it is, to read from different areas, not to exagerate and provoque the events and wish the best for the whole world, for the humanity...

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