Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Trump's Best Enemy? North Korea in Washinton's Crosshairs (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Trump's Best Enemy? North Korea in Washinton's Crosshairs (part 2)

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Is there a risk of complacency in the Macron camp?

Read more

THE POLITICAL BRIEF

French presidential elections: A historic first-round result

Read more

FOCUS

Southern Border Plan: Mexico's own fight against illegal immigration

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A drug in Mayotte turning people into zombies; and the violent expulsion of a waterside community in Lagos

Read more

ACCESS ASIA

Prostitution in Pattaya: Cleaning up Thailand's 'Sin City'

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Will the left and right rally to see off far-right Le Pen?

Read more

THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

Who are Le Pen and Macron's voters?

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However, last weekend’s original demonstrators – those whom Erdogan described as “vandals” – have been replaced by a younger and more mixed crowd that roams Taksim beer in hand.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)