Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

US tobacco giants want lion's share of e-cigarette business

Read more

ENCORE!

Bold and bonkers: Kate Bush is back on stage

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Simon Serfaty, US foreign policy specialist

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'It's a War, Stupid!'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

French PM calls on ECB to go further to help economy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'I love the Socialists'

Read more

WEB NEWS

Ukraine: Web users call for international assistance

Read more

WEB NEWS

France: Fighting political corruption with transparency

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

  • Ukrainian forces retreat from Luhansk airport after clashes

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces free Armeli in biggest victory over IS militants since June

    Read more

  • Teddy Riner, France’s unstoppable judo champion

    Read more

  • Monaco’s Falcao set for Man Utd loan on transfer deadline day

    Read more

  • Spain orders custody for parents of ill British boy

    Read more

  • Anti-government protesters storm Pakistan's state TV

    Read more

  • Putin calls for talks on 'statehood' for east Ukraine

    Read more

  • Poland marks 75 years since German invasion of WWII

    Read more

  • Israel appropriates large tracts of West Bank land

    Read more

  • Rescue efforts under way after French apartment block blast

    Read more

  • Web doc on French self-immolation protests takes top prize

    Read more

  • PSG trounce Saint-Etienne 5-0 with Ibrahimovic hat trick

    Read more

  • Tension rises in Hong Kong as Beijing rejects open elections

    Read more

  • French police stop 'teenage jihadist' from flying to Syria

    Read more

  • Kidnapped Yazidi women 'sold to Islamists' in Syria

    Read more

  • Confusion reigns after Lesotho 'coup'

    Read more

Europe

Turkey protests spread online, and in the streets

© AFP

Video by Luke SHRAGO

Text by Tara KELLY

Latest update : 2013-06-01

Thousands of people have taken to social media in Turkey as violent clashes between police and protesters over the construction of a shopping mall in Istanbul's Gezi Park entered a second day on Saturday.

Protests against the construction of a shopping mall in Istanbul's Gezi Park in Taksim Square entered their second day on Saturday after activists were violently dispersed by Turkish police on Friday.

Police withdraw from Taksim square

Police pulled back from Istanbul's Taksim Square on Saturday, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan conceded that security forces may have used excessive force to disperse protests at the site.

“There have been some mistakes, extremism in police response," Erdogan said, adding that legal action would be taken against officers who acted disproportionately. But he also insisted that plans to redevelop the iconic square would go ahead.

The violent police response triggered mass protests in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities across the country with the demonstrations now channeling widespread frustration and anger with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who is seen as becoming increasingly authoritarian.

Early on Saturday, a group of protesters tried to seize the building of the Turkish ruling party in the province of Izmit as the local police broke up the demonstrators.

The hashtag #OccupyGezi went viral on Twitter as the news spread quickly online.

Some of the powerful images that have surfaced on social media from the raid and the protest include a picture of protesters marching across the Bosphorus bridge and making their way to Gezi Park in Taksim Square.

Protesters swarm across the bridge


Demonstrators took to the internet to set up a livestream of the demonstrations, in protest at the Turkish government's media blackouts.

Livestream Istanbul #OccupyGezi
Watch live streaming video from revoltistanbul at livestream.com

It wasn't long before activists created their very own Tumblr page dedicated to images capturing the two-day standoff with police. The pictures below capture the clashes between protesters and police. 

#OccupyGezi Police throw smoke bombs to disperse protesters

Over 60 people have been arrested and a further 12 injured from Friday's clashes with police, according to the Turkish government. 

#OccupyGezi Police hit activists with water

A page dubbed #OccupyGezi also popped up on Facebook giving citizen journalists and activists another avenue to share their photos from the clashes.

Activists hold aloft signs in protest at the construction of the mall

#OccupyGezi takes over Istanbul's Taksim Square

Not without injury

Children take cover

Bloodshed in Istanbul

In an interview posted on YouTube, a Turkish activist explains why this protest isn't just about the mere expansion of a shopping mall. Instead, the tensions stem from the government's overall policies--including a new bill that bans late night drinking from 10pm, the building of a third bridge in Istanbul and the deteriorating state of Turkey's free press.

Taksim Gezi Park - Interviews with Turkish Demonstrators

But it's not just multimedia images and video that have sprung up on social networking sites. Demonstrators also spearheaded an online petition, calling on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to stop the violent crackdown, gathering almost 5,000 signatures in a mere few hours. 

"The Turkish government is discrediting itself by violently cracking down on citizens who are peacefully assembling and expressing their opinions," says the campaign message on Avaaz.org, a community petition site."As concerned citizens from around the world, we urge you to immediately cease using violence against protesters in Taksim Square -- including the use of tear gas and pressurized water," the petition adds.

But in a defiant speech on Saturday, Prime Minister Erdogan insisted that the park project would go ahead.

Date created : 2013-06-01

  • TURKEY

    Turkish police withdraw from Istanbul square

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Turkey protests spread as Istanbul sit-in turns violent

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Scores injured as police clash with protesters in Istanbul

    Read more

COMMENT(S)