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

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

Russia’s Prosecutor General to Review Legality of Baltics Independence

Move, announced Tuesday, has alarmed Baltic States and strained even further their increasingly tense ties with Moscow More

US Urged to Keep Up Pressure on Cuba Rights

Communist government continues to hold dozens of political prisoners, tightly restricts freedom of expression, uses threats, intimidation to discourage critics, according to activist groups More

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.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs