Sunday, 2 June 2013
Wasn't That A Party?
Police in Istanbul have withdrawn from Taksim Square, allowing the mass protest to continue unabated, Turkish media report. Istanbul and Ankara are entering the third day of violent protests, with tear gas and water cannon deployed and over 900 arrested.
Follow RT's live updates on Taksim Square protest
Minor scuffles broke out after protesters lobbed fireworks at officers as they were drawing back, the state-run Anadolu Agency reports. Police removed barricades around the square, located in the heart of the city, which had previously been erected to prevent the anti-government protests, Private Dogan news agency said.
Despite the authorities decision to allow tens of thousands to flood onto the square, the main subway gateway to Taksim, the central station in the city's metro network, has reportedly been shut down in an effort to keep more people from reaching the ongoing protests.
In the capital, Ankara, security forces battled with demonstrators who had amassed at a park near Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's office. Rallies have also been staged in the cities of Bodrum, Konya and Izmir.
Confronted with the growing street opposition, Erdogan remained defiant, demanding that protesters "stop their demonstrations immediately."
"Police were there yesterday, they'll be on duty today and also tomorrow because Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild," the PM warned.
In two days about 939 people have been detained across the Turkey as part of "necessary security measures," Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Güler said.
On Monday, several dozen activists tried to stage a sit-in in Gezi Park, the last area of green space left on Taksim Square, after several trees were torn up to make way for a commercial redevelopment.
Erdogan dismissed the small protest on Wednesday, saying authorities would go ahead with the plan, which entails the construction of a replica Ottoman-era barracks that could house a shopping mall or apartments.
Published on Jun 2, 2013
Footage from Sunday, demonstrators in Istanbul clean up the barricades and debris after security forces retreated from the area. Footage from Saturday in Ankara, police and military helicopters kept a close watch on protesters.