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Protests Rage On in Ankara and Istanbul

InternationalIt is the second day of protests in Turkey and fresh clashes between the protesters and the police ignited Istanbul and Ankara into chaos.

After plans to redevelop the Gezi Park in Taksim Square, protests started but quickly heightened when police used tear gas. Again on Saturday, the protesters were greeted with another round of tear gas.

Despite the unrest, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that the plans for Gezi Park would push through. He further ordered the police to stay on the ground to handle the protest and maintain order.

What began as a minor issue escalated into a national crisis and widespread complaints and anger toward the government and the Justice and Development Party were quickly thrown out.

The protesters marched over the bridge that connects the European and Asian shores of Istanbul on the morning of Saturday.

On their way to the main square, the police started to throw tear gas while some demonstrators pelleted rocks. Aside from tear gas, the force also used water cannon in the Taksim Square.

Tear gas was also dropped from helicopters as protests extended over to the Besiktas district.

Right after the demonstration, all bridges were closed and the central Taksim district including the surrounding areas was rendered inaccessible.

Also in Ankara, demonstrators gathered at a park with many drinking alcohol as a sign of protest against a government who recently placed restriction on its advertising and sale. Many chanted anti-government slogans and struggled to march to the parliament.

Part of the demonstration is the reported plans to uproot trees in the Gezi Park. Many opponents of the project asserted that the site is one of the few green areas left in central Istanbul.

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