News / Europe

    Turkish Riot Police Overrun Taksim Square

    Dorian Jones
    Turkish riot police pushed through barricades at Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday, firing tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters.

    Police moved into Taksim, the center of more than 10 days of anti-government protest, after dawn. Some demonstrators threw stones, fireworks and firebombs at police. In Turkey's largest city, police moved against protesters in a square that has been the center of nationwide unrest against the government. The move comes as the prime minister is due to meet with demonstrators Wednesday.

    In the heart of Istanbul, city police fought running battles with protesters. The unrest erupted when security forces using large amounts tear gas moved against demonstrators gathered in Taksim Square.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has previously called the demonstrators "looters," warning them that his patience was limited. But his deputy confirmed that the prime minister had agreed to meet the protesters.

    Watch Videoclip: Turkey demonstration

    Turkey Protesti
    X
    June 11, 2013 11:34 AM
    Videoclip

    The square along with the adjacent Gezi Park has been the center of 11 days of nationwide unrest against the government. The initial protest was against government plans to redevelop Gezi Park but has increasingly focused on what demonstrators claim is the increasingly authoritarian rule of the prime minister.

    The police, while generally refraining from direct confrontation, are resorting mainly to firing tear gas at the crowds - while backed by armored cars using water cannon.

    Several demonstrators were injured Tuesday with some being rushed unconscious to a first aid center in Gezi Park. The demonstrators have repeatedly accused the police of firing gas canisters directly into the crowd. Many demonstrators voiced anger over the tactics. One of them said, "I feel I am facing fascism for the first time in my life. I have been reading about fascism. I have seen movies about fascism. But I did not live it. Now I am living it."

    More than 5,000 people have been injured and three people have died since the protests began.

    The latest police action in Istanbul has - for at least one protester - ended any trust in the prime minister.

    • 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.

    "I was hoping there would be a solution for peace but now we see the policemen. We can trust no one and we feel really lonely," said the protester.

    It remains unclear whether the police crackdown will affect the planned Wednesday meeting between the prime minister and protesters.

    You May Like

    Russia Sees Brexit Impact Widespread but Temporary

    Officials, citizens react to Britain’s vote to exit European Union with mix of pleasure, understanding and concern

    Obama Encourages Entrepreneurs to Seek Global Interconnection

    President tells entrepreneurs at global summit at Stanford University to find mentors, push ahead with new ideas on day after Britain voters decide to exit EU

    Video Some US Gun Owners Support Gun Control

    Defying the stereotype, Dave Makings says he'd give up his assault rifle for a comprehensive program to reduce gun violence

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: yusuf from: Turkey
    June 12, 2013 4:13 PM
    Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government has just dediced referendum for Taksim Square...

    by: jan from: canada
    June 12, 2013 2:06 PM
    PM Erdogan (aka Padisah) is a frustrated man because he's in deep s***. I suspect, since Kurdish Fighters began leaving their positions in Turkey under a peace plan, Mr.PM started to read the tea leaves and got nervous. when hundreds of thousands of marching feet raised their voice at Taksim Gezi Park, he lost himself and practiced the violence exercised by the state against collective political rights and environmental rights. He tried to silence people with tear gas, water cannon, and arrests, and death. but Taxim Movement has become much bigger than itself. the protesters mobilize people in the streets, take the initiative and say the time has come to change the tune. they know very well the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

    by: yusuf from: Turkey
    June 12, 2013 1:57 AM
    Firstly there are important points you have to know about protests at Taksim Square.1-There are illegal groups like PKK,DHKPC (which attcated to American Consulate with suicide bomber) at Taksim square.2-Many of the political parties and surroundings have quited the hope of being elected by Turkish Citizens so they are in desire of creating Military Coup conditions because it is mpossible to defeat Mr. Erdogan in elections.3-The government has decreased the Interest Rate from %92 to % 4 and many bosses of banks like GARANTI,DENIZBANK,ISBANK in Turkey are forcing their workers to support protests...

    by: Hatat Ozlam from: Turkey
    June 11, 2013 9:53 PM
    to all western media, america, and Europe, you are not helping by this coverage of riots - Islam is not about freedom its about submission - and all Turks need to learn to submit. all rioters are traitor for Islam, and Erdogan will kill all of them soon
    In Response

    by: yusuf from: Turkey
    June 12, 2013 2:15 AM
    Islam is a submission to Allah not to Erdoğan,Obama,Putin others political or religious leaders and Erdoğan won't kill anybody soon.If he had been someone like you said,voters wouldn't have elected him for the third time and he would't have ruled Turkey for 10 years.(You either don't know what Islam mean or aren't a Muslim)

    by: sevkitabii from: turkey
    June 11, 2013 6:34 PM
    mutiny in gezi park cannot effect the turkey as a powerful country, and foreign media is escalating the situation by exaggarate it.In syria,ın ıraq lots of people are shed with bullets, but it is not mentioned in propotion to gezi park riots. In europe, these demonstrations are very common. These are not special for turkey. we will step forward with proud

    by: Echelic from: Turkey
    June 11, 2013 4:32 PM
    what the West doesn't understand is that this is an internal Turkish sectarian war... the rioters are educated whites while the rest are filthy Islamic Arabs accumulated in Turkey as slaves from the time of the Ottomans... we don't want to live our lives like Iranians
    In Response

    by: yusuf from: Turkey
    June 12, 2013 4:11 PM
    The Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government has decided for referendum for Taksim Square.Isn't it democratic enough?

    by: Sumban from: Turkey
    June 11, 2013 11:03 AM
    we are not going to live under Islamic tyranny...
    In Response

    by: sevkitabii from: turkey
    June 11, 2013 6:42 PM
    Look at your country's regulation 3. proviso. Secular democratic and
    and a law country
    In Response

    by: Hussain from: Bahrain
    June 11, 2013 3:37 PM
    It is your right to reject what you called islamic tyranny. So next elections you can go to the voting box and say no to erdogan. But occupaying streets is not democratic. You should see what they did in NY. Can they dare to close a the street or even take one step from the sidewalk.

    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    June 11, 2013 10:58 AM
    I have followed this development with some level of interest.Erdogan may be the PM of a country striving to drop the shackles of the Ottoman barbaric dispensation, but revelations from the uprising show a deeper crevice that neither the present administration nor a centenary of others would be about to solve amicably. Feelers from the sidelines of the protests (those not participating - maybe on the side of the government) reveal that Turkey may after all not truly be a united country. Whereas some are asking for rights in one country they see as their own, some on the government and extremist side think those protesting for certain rights do not belong to the country.

    And this appears to be the line the administration is more willing to toe. But one important fact remains unaddressed, and that is the fact that only about one-tenth of those desiring the change are on the streets protesting while nine-tenth watch from a safe distance because they fear that Erdogan might be quick to adopt the Iran-kind of approach to solving dissent. Only time will resolve this puzzle - whether Erdogan will truly exercise the patience required in a democracy to address the demand of this segment of the polity demanding for their rights is a democratizing European country - whether they be majority or minority.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territoryi
    X
    June 24, 2016 9:38 PM
    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Brexit Vote Plunges Global Markets Into Unchartered Territory

    British voters plunged global markets into unknown territory after they voted Thursday to leave the European Union. The results of the Brexit vote, the term coined to describe the referendum, caught many off guard. Analysts say the resulting volatility could last for weeks, perhaps longer. Mil Arcega reports.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Experts: Very Few Killed in US Gun Violence Are Victims of Mass Shootings

    The deadly shooting at a Florida nightclub has reignited the debate in the U.S. over gun control. Although Congress doesn't provide government health agencies funds to study gun violence, public health experts say private research has helped them learn some things about the issue. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
    Video

    Video Trump Unleashes Broadside Against Clinton to Try to Ease GOP Doubts

    Recent public opinion polls show Republican Donald Trump slipping behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential election matchup for November. Trump trails her both in fundraising and campaign organization, but he's intensifying his attacks on the former secretary of state. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapide’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.
    Video

    Video Florida Gets $1 Million in Emergency Government Funding for Orlando

    The U.S. government has granted $1 million in emergency funding to the state of Florida to cover the costs linked to the June 12 massacre in Orlando. U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant Tuesday in Orlando, where she met with survivors of the shooting attack that killed 49 people. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video How to Print Impossible Shapes with Metal

    3-D printing with metals is rapidly becoming more advanced. As printers become more affordable, the industry is partnering with universities to refine processes for manufacturing previously impossible things. A new 3-D printing lab aims to bring the new technology closer to everyday use. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Big Somali Community in Minnesota Observes Muslim Religious Feast

    Ramadan is widely observed in the north central US state of Minnesota, which a large Muslim community calls home. VOA Somali service reporter Mohmud Masadde files this report from Minneapolis, the state's biggest city.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora