News / Europe

Turkish Police Clear Taksim Square

Turkish riot police take up position in Taksim Square in Istanbul June 12, 2013.
Turkish riot police take up position in Taksim Square in Istanbul June 12, 2013.
VOA News
Turkish riot police have cleared protesters from Istanbul's central square, following a night of clashes between the two sides.

The police operation follows nearly two weeks of demonstrations in Taksim Square that began when protesters were determined to stop authorities from tearing up a public park next to the square for a new building.

They have also demanded Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's resignation, accusing him of imposing his conservative Islamist views on a secular nation.

On Tuesday, riot police fired tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons at the protesters in Taksim Square in clashes that lasted until early Wednesday.

The prime minister plans to meet with some of the demonstrators Wednesday, but he has accused them of deliberately trying to damage Turkey's image and economy.

He says the protesters are "trying to prevent Turkey's rise and are being used by financial institutions and media groups to harm Turkey's economy.

Three people have died since the protests began almost two weeks ago. About 5,000 people have been hurt and thousands of others arrested.

Police also fired fired water cannons Tuesday to disperse protesters in Ankara, the capital, who had gathered in sympathy with their Istanbul counterparts.

  • A protester makes the victory sign as he sits outside Gezi Park in front of riot police vehicles at Taksim Square, Istanbul, June 14, 2013.
  • Protesters watch a film in Gezi Park in Istanbul, June 14, 2013.
  • German pianist Davide Martello is surrounded by anti-government protesters as he performs in Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 13, 2013.
  • Protesters stand in front of a barricade at Gezi park, Istanbul, June 13, 2013.
  • Taksim Square is flooded by tear gas during clashes between protesters and riot police, Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • Police operate during clashes at Taksim Square, Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A protester tries to take cover from a water cannon fired by police during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A protester throws a tear gas canister back at police during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A protester throws a gas bomb towards riot police during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A protester throws a petrol bomb towards a crowd control vehicle in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A crowd control vehicle fires a water cannon against protesters in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • A protester walks in front of a burning barricade during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.
  • Protesters carry another protester affected by tear gas during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 11, 2013.

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by: Godwin from: Nigeria
June 12, 2013 10:14 AM
When the Devil lies, he has just done what he's known for. If anyone expected less from Erdogan, then that person must have been living in the moon. Just because he likes to be called European does not mean he has opened his heart enough for freedom and liberties. He simply wants to be called European because he feels he's developed beyond the Arabians and Persians. Inside out, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is little removed from the Iranians. IT IS EXPECTED, AND HE HAS DONE IT! PERIOD.

by: Selçuk from: İstanbul-Turkey
June 12, 2013 9:45 AM
I thik those who make comment about the protests in Turkey do not know completely Turkish People, Turkey's structure and especially Turkey. Turkey is a big country with 76.000.000 people of its population. Approximately 16.000.000 people live in Istanbul but thousands of people demonstrate in Istanbul Taksim square. Where is the rest ? Democracy is working here with its elements such as other westerns countries. İf you want to know Turkey closely, come to Turkey and visit the other cities and become our guest, you can't see any clash but you can see how the protesters pumps next vote through the demonstration to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Some countries press call the protests as approching Turkish Spring, I think Erdogan's second spring is rising.

by: david lulasa from: tambua,gimarakwa,hamisi,v
June 12, 2013 6:01 AM
if it were one protester in turkey,the government would have put him in a land rover and taken him to prison...and it is because the turkish government is not listening to turks in the square..what the prime ministers government has to do now is stop the project and then ask the public for ideas...the ideas could even lead to a much bigger project for turks than the current one.
lulasa tv(TAMBUA VILLAGE,GIMARAKWA)hamisi,vihiga,kenya..

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