June 11, 2013

Turkish police on Tuesday stormed Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the heart of the two-week-long protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. The governor of Istanbul wrote on Twitter that the police had only arrived to remove banners, but witnesses reported that police pushed past the protesters’ barricades, blocked all the exits, and fired water cannons. The demonstrators responded by throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks, and fireworks. Meanwhile, Erdogan told his party’s M.P.s that the protests have hurt the country’s image and economy. Protests in Taksim Square started on May 31 as a demonstration against plans to raze Istanbul’s Gezi Park but soon spread across the country as a more widespread call to action against Erdogan’s government.

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