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Police clear protesters from Gezi Park


Turkey

Police clear protesters from Gezi Park

The protesters are back in Gezi Park in Istanbul so too is police action. The park was cleared shortly after it had been reopened. Beyond the boundaries of the park it’s reported police used water cannon to clear the surrounding streets.

The park had been closed for 23 days and then on Monday officially reopened. As people gathered there was confusion in the crowd.

“We came to the park as it has been reopened. We have been here for half an hour and now we have been told it is being closed again. We don’t understand if the governor is joking with us,” said one woman.

Protest leaders called for a rally in the park on Monday evening. But when performing the reopening ceremony earlier in the day the governor made it clear that any form of demonstration would not be tolerated.

“Without an application to the governorship, if a group of people put themselves in a public space and say, ‘Gezi Park does not belong to anyone but to us, it does not belong to the people, it belongs to us,’ we won’t allow that to happen,” said Huseyin Avni Mutlu,

Gezi Park was at the heart of last month’s anti-government protests sparked by plans to redevelop the area. The demonstrations grew into nationwide rallies against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and what critics claimed was his increasingly authoritarian rule.

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