Monday 23 October 2017

Turkish police clear park as protesters return

Damien McElroy

Protesters are setting up new barricades in Istanbul after police in the Turkish city used tear gas and water cannon to clear opponents out of a city centre park after a two-week confrontation with the government.

Skirmishes continued into the early hours yesterday between police and protesters attempting to return to Taksim Square. Police fired tear gas and took control of roads. Bulldozers, meanwhile, cleared out all signs of the two-week long sit-in at Taksim's Gezi Park.

For more than two weeks, protesters had flouted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's warnings to vacate the area around the city's Taksim Square. On Saturday, he ran out of patience. As dusk fell, hundreds of white-helmeted riot police swept through Taksim Square and Gezi Park, firing canisters of tear gas as they stormed through the tents set up throughout the park.

Thousands of peaceful protesters, choking on the fumes and stumbling among the tents, put up little physical resistance, even as plain-clothes police manhandled many to drive them from the park. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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