2 Jun 2013

Turkey protests: fresh violence erupts

Violence has erupted again on the streets of Turkey as tens of thousands of protestors come out for a third day to protest against heavy-handed policing and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

There were reports of violence in the Besiktas suburb of Istanbul. Whilst police were reported to have once again used tear gas on protestors.

The third day of action on the streets had started quietly, with drizzle keeping many people indoors. However, from midday people started gathering in IStanbul’s Taksim Square for a rally.

Protestors chanted ‘Victory, victory, victory’ and called for the resgination of the prime minister.

Read more: Lindsey Hilsum blogs 'Turkey cleans its streets, but what of the political debris?'

Around a thousand people were arrested and hundreds were injured at 90 separate demonstrations over the past two days. Police used tear gas and water cannons on crowds.


On Sunday shopkeepers and municipal workers were out cleaning up the debris – from removing rubble from the streets to cleaning anti-government graffiti off the walls.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been criticised for appeasing his Islamist support with, most recently, legal restrictions on the sale of alcohol, gave a televised address on Sunday.

In it he said the government would investigate allegations that the police had used excessive force to quell the crowds of protestors.

However, he also remained defiant, saying: “If this is about holding meetings, if this is a social movement, where they gather 20, I will get up and gather 200,000 people.

“Where they gather 100,000, I will bring together one million from my party.”

There were calls on social media for the protests to continue on Sunday, A concert is scheduled for the afternoon in Taksim Square.