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Clashes at Istanbul park protest

Source BBC News@ tienganhvui.com




Protestors hold a giant Turkish flag in front of a water cannon truck (31 May 2013)Protesters opposed to the redevelopment of Gezi Park have camped out there


Demonstrators help one another as Turkish riot policemen use tear gas to disperse clashes (May 31, 2013)Police used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters to disperse them


A wounded protestor is carried away during confrontations with riot police (31 May 2013)Several people were injured in the clashes


Wide view of tear gas and demonstrators in Taksim Square (31 May 2013)Prime Minister Erdogan has vowed to carry out the redevelopment





Turkish police have used tear gas and water cannon against protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul.


Scores of people have suffered injuries, several of them when a wall collapsed during a police chase.


Demonstrators had been camping since Monday in Gezi Park, angry at plans to develop it as part of a revamp of Taksim Square, in which it is situated.


Many protesters also expressed discontent with the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


Mr Erdogan has been in power since 2002 and some in Turkey feel that his government is becoming increasingly authoritarian.


Last week, Turkey's parliament approved legislation restricting the sale and consumption of alcoholic drinks.


The regulations would prohibit retail sales between 22:00 and 06:00, ban all alcohol advertising and promotion, and stop new shops and bars from opening within 100m (330ft) of schools and mosques.


Mr Erdogan said he wanted to stop young Turks from "wandering about in a state of inebriation" and was not trying to impose Islamic values.


The prime minister's Justice and Development (AK) Party has its roots in political Islam, but he says he is committed to Turkey's state secularism.


'Excessive force'

Opponents to Mr Erdogan's plans to re-develop Gezi Park say it is one of the few green areas left in central Istanbul.


One banner at Friday's protest included a cartoon of Mr Erdogan dressed as an Ottoman sultan with the slogan: The people will not bow down to you."


"We do not have a government, we have Tayyip Erdogan," political scientist and protester Koray Caliskan told the Reuters news agency.


"They are not listening to us," he added. "This is the beginning of a summer of discontent."


Hurriyet Daily News reported that seven of those wounded in the clashes with police had serious injuries, including a broken leg and head injuries.


A journalist was hit in the head with a tear-gas canister and Hurriyet's own photographer was injured, it added.


Amnesty International condemned the use of what it called "excessive force" against "peaceful protesters".





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