Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FASHION

Fashion, what's happened in 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

France: 2014 in review

Read more

#THE 51%

South Africa: Taking a stand against child marriage

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book

Read more

DEBATE

The Future of the Book (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

France 24’s best documentaries of 2014

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'We have to build a new Tunisia', says the president of the Tunisian Parliament

Read more

FACE-OFF

France on alert after attacks: a case of collective hysteria?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Beijing needs to revaluate its policy in the Tibetan areas', says FM of the Tibetan government-in-exile

Read more

Europe

In pictures: Occupy Taksim Square

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-08

A week after Turkish police pulled out of Taksim Square, protesters are determined to turn the Istanbul landmark into a bastion of the freedoms they say are threatened by Prime Minister Erdogan’s conservative Islamist government.

Taksim Square, the hotspot for anti-government protests in Istanbul, is standing strong. On the eighth night of a wave of demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, the first of its kind, the iconic square was once again filled with people.

However, last weekend’s original demonstrators – those whom Erdogan described as “vandals” – have been replaced by a younger and more mixed crowd that roams Taksim beer in hand. The heart of Istanbul has become a joyfully anarchic meeting point, where secular-minded radicals brought up in the cult of Turkey’s founding father Ataturk mingle with far-left groups and supporters of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

But the various political parties that have jumped on the protest bandwagon are of scarce interest to most people on Taksim’s Gezi Park. These Occupy-styled protesters are sticking to environmental and societal issues, more in line with the French May 1968 movement than the Arab Spring.

They are not only fighting Erdogan’s order to bulldozer the park to make way for a shopping mall, a move that triggered the protests in the first place. They are also condemning the social conservatism they accuse the Islamist-led government of seeking to establish through, among other policies, restrictions on the sale of alcohol. Sheltered by a dozen barricades, demonstrators have turned Taksim Square into an ode to the liberal style of life they are fighting for.


 

Date created : 2013-06-08

  • TURKEY

    Turkey protests spread as Istanbul sit-in turns violent

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    Scores injured as police clash with protesters in Istanbul

    Read more

  • TURKEY

    In pictures: Clashes rage for second day in Turkey

    Read more

COMMENT(S)