News / Europe

Turkish Anti-Government Activists Protest for 3rd Day

Protesters shout slogans as they hold a Turkish flag during the third day of nationwide anti-government protest at the Taksim square in Istanbul, June 2, 2013.
Protesters shout slogans as they hold a Turkish flag during the third day of nationwide anti-government protest at the Taksim square in Istanbul, June 2, 2013.
Dorian Jones
In Istanbul, Turkey largest city, clashes are continuing near the prime minister’s office as unrest against the government grows. The protests, which are continuing to spread across the country, accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of acting in an increasing authoritarian way and threatening individual freedoms.

Demonstrators in Istanbul clashed with security forces well into Sunday night, in some of the worst violence since civil unrest broke out here three days ago. There are reports of injuries and mass arrests in the violence, which occurred close to the prime minister’s office.

Confrontations in Ankara also continued into the night after a day of unrest. Demonstrations are spreading across the country. Authorities say 1,700 people have been detained, although most have been released.

But at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, ground zero for the protest movement, Sunday passed without incident, with thousands of people peacefully gathering to demonstrate. It was the violent police crackdown on Friday against citizens protesting a planned shopping mall that gave birth to the largest protest movement the country has seen in decades.

The protestors accuse Prime Minister Erdogan of increasingly acting in an authoritarian way and seeking to impose a conservative agenda on society. Some demonstrators said the prime minister has to change course.

"He has a huge ego and he can do very very bad things. He even can use normal bullets against his people," said one protester.

"I had to be here to show everybody that we are here we are looking for our rights. So for me we had to do it," said another participant in the demonstration.

Many of the demonstrators are young and appear not affiliated with any political party. The protest movement is made up of a wide cross section of society - rich, poor, students and workers, even well-known professional sportsmen have joined the protests. But Prime Minister Erdogan remains defiant. On Sunday, he described the protestors as marauders and looters, and even described Twitter as evil. Twitter is the mainstay for protestors to communicate. He also blamed party politics for the unrest.

He said, We think that the main opposition party which is making resistance calls on every street is provoking these protests They are manipulating a peaceful protest because they were unable to beat me at the ballot box.

But the main opposition parties have been careful to avoid being too closely associated with the protests. Observers say the protesters' rallying call of individual freedom for now appears to be striking a chord within Turkish society. With demonstrators and the prime minister refusing to back down, the battle of wills is growing.

You May Like

800-Pound Man Determined to Slim Down

Man says he was kicked out of hospital for ordering pizza; wants to be an actor More

Australia Prepares to Resettle 12,000 Syrian Refugees

Preference will be given to refugees from persecuted minorities, and the first group is expected to arrive before late December More

S. African Miners Seek Class Action Suit Against Gold Mines

The estimated 100,000 say say they contracted the lung diseases silicosis and tuberculosis in the mines More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: peace
June 02, 2013 11:25 PM
I'm leaving in turkey. This incident was not releated with arrangment of park area or distruping trees.Main opposition party has been alleged that goverment would take our independence and recessed turkey' gain for long time.but years have been showed that turkey is a good position in economi and it's welathy is increasing.everbody in turkey know the these protesters were arranged with opposition party.also I think goverment couldnt explain sufficiently his plan on taksim square so these misunderstaning was misused by opposition party

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemeni
Henry Ridgwell
October 12, 2015 4:03 PM
The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video Amnesty Accuses Saudi Coalition of ‘War Crimes’ in Yemen

The human rights group Amnesty International has accused the Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen. Henry Ridgwell reports the group says hundreds of civilians have been killed in strikes on residential areas.

Video No Resolution in Sight to US House Speaker Drama

Uncertainty grips the U.S. Congress, where no consensus replacement has emerged to succeed Republican House Speaker John Boehner after his surprise resignation announcement. Half of Congress is effectively leaderless weeks before America risks defaulting on its national debt and enduring another partial government shutdown.

Video New Art Exhibit Focuses on Hope

Out of struggle and despair often comes hope. That idea is behind a new art exhibit at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. "The Big Hope Show" features 25 artists, some of whom overcame trauma and loss. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Columbus Day Still Generates Controversy as US Holiday

The second Monday of October is Columbus Day in the United States, honoring explorer Christopher Columbus and his discovery of the Americas. The achievement is a source of pride for many, but for some the holiday is marked by controversy. Adrianna Zhang has more.

Video Anger Simmers as Turks Begin to Bury Blast Victims

The Turkish army carried out new air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets on Sunday, a day after the banned group announced a unilateral cease fire. The air raids apparently are in retaliation for the Saturday bombing in Turkey's capital Ankara that killed at least 95 people and wounded more than 200 others. But as Zlatica Hoke reports, there are suspicions that Islamic State is involved.

Video Bombings a Sign of Turkey’s Deep Troubles

Turkey has begun a three-day period of mourning following Saturday’s bomb attacks in the capital, Ankara, that killed nearly 100 people. With contentious parliamentary elections three weeks away, the attacks highlight the challenges Turkey is facing as it struggles with ethnic friction, an ongoing migrant crisis, and growing tensions with Russia. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Afghanistan’s Progress Aided by US Academic Center

Recent combat in Afghanistan has shifted world attention back to the central Asian nation’s continuing civil war and economic challenges. But, while there are many vexing problems facing Afghanistan’s government and people, a group of academics in Omaha, Nebraska has kept a strong faith in the nation’s future through programs to improve education. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Omaha, Nebraska.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video In 'He Named Me Malala,' Guggenheim Finds Normal in Extraordinary

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary "He Named Me Malala" offers a probing look into the life of 18-year-old Malala Yousafsai, the Pakistani teenager who, in 2012, was shot in the head by the Taliban for standing up for her right to education in her hometown in Pakistan's Swat Valley. Guggenheim shows how, since then, Malala has become a symbol not as a victim of brutal violence, but as an advocate for girls’ education throughout the world. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.

Video Paintable Solar Cells May Someday Replace Silicon-Based Panels

Solar panels today are still factory-manufactured, with the use of some highly toxic substances such as cadmium chloride. But a researcher at St. Mary’s College, Maryland, says we are close to being able to create solar panels by painting them on a suitable surface, using nontoxic solutions. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs