Turkish Protesters Dispersed by Police Tear Gas

World | June 2, 2014, Monday // 11:05
Bulgaria: Turkish Protesters Dispersed by Police Tear Gas Photo by EPA/BGNES

Water cannons and tear gas helped Turkish police to disperse demonstrators marking the first anniversary of Gezi Park protests.

Taskim Square in Istanbul, Turkey's biggest cities, was virtually sealed off by 25 000 police preventing citizens from reaching the venue. Armored vehicles had been also deployed to safeguard a ban on gatherings this weekend imposed by the government.

Some people nevertheless found their way into the square and clashes ensued, according to the BBC.

There were also demonstrations in the capital Ankara and the southern city of Adana.

About 120 people were detained in Istanbul and 50 in Ankara, Germany's Tagesschau reports citing Turkish police estimates.

CNN earlier reported its correspondent Ivan Watson had been harassed by Turkish plainclothes police in Istanbul while speaking live in the eve of the Gezi Park anniversary.

Watson could be heard as saying to an anchor that he and his crew was "being detained right now". Later he said police officers had demanded his press credentials and had sad it could have been "counterfeited". The team was released in half an hour.

In June 2013, what started as environmental protests against construction projects at Gezi Park grew into an anti-government movement demanding Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's resignation.

The Gezi Park protests became world-known for the violence used by police during clashes with demonstrators.

Erdogan firmly believes the movement calling for his resignation consists of "terrorist organizations" and has repeatedly claimed it is supported by his "enemies".

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Tags: Gezi park, turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, taksim square

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