Riot police entered Gezi Park in Taksim Square at around 2 p.m. today, despite the Istanbul governor’s earlier remarks saying there would be no such operation.
Live footage showed protesters chanting against the police officers, demanding that they leave the park. The police fired dozens of tear gas capsules before marching toward the park, which has been at the center of the protests for two weeks.
The police retreated back to Taksim Square following a 10-minute confrontation with the protesters inside Gezi Park.
Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu had said earlier at a press briefing that the police intervention at Taksim Square, which started in the early hours of the day, aimed only at removing the banners hanging from the Atatürk statue and the Atatürk Culture Center, and had no relation to the Gezi Park protesters.
Mutlu said the ambitions of the intervention had been shared well with the public and carried no attitude against the Gezi Park protesters, simply aiming to remove the banners that had turned the building and the statue to “an advertisement billboard of legal and illegal organizations.”
11 June 2013