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

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

Americans Think About Strange Stuff at Thanksgiving

Millions of Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving, but they’re not necessarily thinking about turkey and stuffing

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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs