Chaos erupted and escalated as protesters clashed with the police, resulting in some of the worst violence since the demonstration started three days ago. Barricades from paving stones from Besiktas protesters were answered by the police with water cannon and tear gas.
It all started from the government’s plan to rebuild the Gezi Park. Now, the issue has stretched into a nationwide anti-government protest with protesters accusing the quickly becoming authoritarian leaders.
Recent moves by Prime Minister Recep Tayyp Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party have incensed citizens over its seemingly conservative Islamic values that hinder personal freedom.
Since the protest started, officials are now saying that more than 1,700 people have been arrested, though many were released.
Several establishments in the area were turned into makeshift hospitals to treat the injured demonstrators.
In an attempt to protect the prime minister’s office, police sealed off roads that surround the office.
Ankara also reported unrest. A complex central in the capital was raided by the police after reports emerged that demonstrators are using the establishment for shelter.
Despite the growing unrest, Mr Erdogan is ironclad. He dismissed the protesters are a “few looters” and deemed Twitter, among the social media websites he criticized, as “an extreme version of lying.”
The initial protest around Gezi Park was peaceful. After police used tear gas and water cannon, however, the demonstrators accused them of using excessive force, and the number of protesters soon swelled.
The site in question is the Gezi Park, which according to demonstrators was the one of the last green places in Istanbul.
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