World Bulletin: Two different iftars in Taksim

Turkish police allowed thousands of protesters who have been trying to block the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul to break their Ramadan fast on Tuesday before resuming efforts to get them to leave the area.

The previous night police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters as they tried to prevent them gathering in Gezi Park.
Two leftist groups, the Revolutionary Muslims and Anti-Capitalist Muslims, hosted fast-breaking iftar dinner in a nearby pedestrian street by the Gezi Park on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The local municipality also hosted a dinner in Taksim Square by the Gezi Park and people marched in the park afterwards.
Police used loudspeakers to warn people to leave, while people booed and clapped, but the police did not intervene.


After a police crackdown on a small demonstration on May 31 against plans to redevelop Gezi Park, the protests grew into broader action against what critics see as Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian style of government.

Gezi Park reopened to visitors on Monday afternoon but hours later police forced people out due to concerns about a planned protest rally. Clashes erupted in nearby streets before police allowed people back into the park around midnight.

The Taksim Solidarity group of political parties and non-governmental organisations opposed to the park’s redevelopment said police detained more than 80 people in Monday’s clashes.

A Turkish court has cancelled the Taksim Square redevelopment project but the authorities can appeal against the ruling.
10 July 2013