Tear gas came from all around. People panicked and dispersed. Since the bus I was standing on was a barricade at the same time, dispersing people started to run over each other in this narrow passage. There were injured people lying on this passage.
The most severe police intervention that lasted in Taksim all day long occured at around 20.15 in the evening. The police deployed in front of AKM (Atatürk Cultural Center), and thousands of people filling the square were shouting slogans against the government and the police. Soon after ÇARŞI (the fan club of the popular football team ‘Beşiktaş’) came into the square, the slogans became much more ‘cheerful’. There was nobody throwing a stone or something else at the police.
The protesters and the police were very close to each other. People were touching and even they were having their photos taken with the TOMAs (anti-riot water cannon vehicle) which had thrown water on them from the morning till the evening. At that moment, I turned my camera into video mode to record the slogans of ÇARŞI. There was a very nice scene that doesn’t include any violence. I even witnessed that some police officers were laughing at the slogans. I was on the top of a public bus which was out of order in front of AKM, near Gezi Park. At one second, an argument started between the people in front of TOMA and the police. A clash and some scuffles broke out between the police and the people. People started hitting the police with the flags in their hands. Everything happened just in a few seconds. And after that second, the police started throwing tear gas bombs at the thousands of people who had gathered in the square.
I couldn’t understand that at first; however, after a few seconds I realized the intervention. Tear gas bombs were coming from all around. People dispersed in panic. Since the bus I was standing on was a barricade at the same time, dispersing people started to run over each other at this narrow passage. There were injured people lying on this passage. There were a lot of shoes, backpacks, mobile phones, wallets on the ground. I don’t think that I will be able to forget the scream of the woman who had a nervous break-down on the top of the bus at that moment.
12 June 2013
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