( More under the cutCollapse )OCCUPY GEZI: POLICE AGAINST PROTESTERS IN ISTANBUL
Gezi Park is a small rectangle of grass and trees just north of Taksim Square, in the center of European Istanbul. Separated by concrete barriers from a particularly congested traffic circle, it doesn’t have a lot going for it in the way of charm or landscaping. But it does have trees—six hundred and six of them, according to some reports—which makes it a distinct space in the heart of one of the world’s fastest-developing cities.
Last year, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Gezi Park would be levelled to make room for a reconstruction of the Halil Pasa Artillery barracks, which had been built there under Sultan Selim III, more than two hundred years ago; the reconstructed barracks would then be converted into a shopping mall. On May 28th, a peaceful demonstration convened in Gezi Park to protest the bulldozing of the first trees. The weather was, and continues to be, beautiful. But over the course of the week, Occupy Gezi transformed from what felt like a festival, with yoga, barbecues, and concerts, into what feels like a war, with barricades, plastic bullets, and gas attacks. ( Rest of the blog post from New YorkerCollapse )Angry Protests Grow in Turkey as Police Continue Crackdown
ISTANBUL — Violent protests against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan engulfed this city on Saturday, as thousands of demonstrators took to the streets and alleyways in a second day of civil unrest and faced the tear gas and water cannons of a harsh police crackdown.
Mr. Erdogan, in a televised speech on Saturday morning, vowed to go forward with a plan to remake a city park in Taksim Square into a replica Ottoman-era army barracks and mall, the move that set off the initial protests earlier in the week.
For many demonstrators, however, the protest has moved beyond that project and become a broad rebuke to the 10-year leadership of Mr. Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, which they say has adopted authoritarian tactics. ( Rest of the NY Times articleCollapse )Istanbul Protests Grow In Size As Demonstration Enters 5th Day
As the "Occupy Gezi" protests in Istanbul entered their fifth day Saturday, police withdrew from Taksim Square in an effort to calm tensions that so far have left at least a dozen injured. Law enforcement officers have used tear gas and high pressure water hoses on the protesters. ( Rest of the Huffington Post articleCollapse )Source 1Source 2Source 3