Turkey: Police detain protesters as thousands gather at Taksim Square

Hurriyet, ISTANBUL, Saturday,June 29 2013

Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo

[Protestors are detained by the plainclothes police officers during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul. REUTERS photo]

Thousands of protesters have gathered at the Taksim square June 29 to denounce the government’s response to the Gezi Park protests, a week after another demonstration was quelled with water cannons and tear gas. The demonstration has been carried out peacefully without tension and most of the protesters dispersed after a couple of hours following police’s warning to end the gathering.

Riot police pushed them away from the square with shields and slow moving water cannon trucks although no water was fired. Announcements were made for protesters to return to their homes.

However, part of the protesters remained in the surroundings of the Taksim area as police entered the side streets chasing the protesters who were gathering back. More than ten protestors were detained, according to Hürriyet. Live footages showed officer in plainclothes taking the protesters into custody.


[Thousands gathered once again at Taksim
Square to protest against police violence 
during the Gezi protests. REUTERS photo]

Security forces also cordoned off the entrances to the İstiklal Avenue, were intense clashes took place in previous weeks. Witnesses said that police also used rubber bullets.

Earlier, the Taksim Solidarity Platform has called on protesters to report themselves to prosecutors to sign petitions in which they would take full responsibility of their participation to the demonstrations.  “We will gather in front of the Çağlayan Courthouse to hand the petitions that say ‘We are here and we are taking the whole responsibility,” a spokesman of the platform said in a statement.

Many protesters had also gathered to protest the killing of a demonstrator by the security forces in the southeastern Diyarbakır’s Lice district. Many protesters chanted slogans of support for Lice.

Intervention in Ankara

Meanwhile police used tear gas and water cannons to quell a group of 250 protesters gathered at Kurtuluş Park, near the Ankara University. Police chased the group inside the park and many bystanders were affected by the gas.

The group had denounced the killing of Ethem Sarısülük, a demonstrator in Ankara who was shot by police during the early days of the Gezi protests.

Demonstrators also chanted slogans for Medeni Yıldırım.

The Gezi Park protests in Ankara during last month were among those most brutally repressed by the police. Tension has also escalated at the Dikmen neighborhood were clashes between police and protester break out almost every night.

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