Sunday, 7 July 2013

Clashes in Taksim on Saturday

After the Taksim Solidarity Platform called for a press declaration and a demonstration at Taksim Square on Saturday, 6th June, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Taksim from all parts of Istanbul. 
A few hours before the beginning of the demonstration, Governor Mutlu said that the demonstration was not authorized and would be stopped by a police intervention: 

"The Constitution says that anyone can stage a demonstration without giving notification, but the legislation says that applying to the authorities for permission is mandatory. So nobody can say they exercise their constitutional rights. This is unlawful. I can't allow a demonstration that I haven't permitted in advance, I can't act unlawfully. So we won't allow these gatherings. Our police will warn them. We believe that an significant number will leave the place after these warnings. There are always small groups that seek confrontation with the police", said Mutlu.

These statements of Mutlu mobilized even more people who have been called plunderers and extremists by the government before although they have only been trying to demand their democratic rights to demonstrate and express themselves. 

The demonstration was supposed to start at 7 p.m. but the police started to intervene already 30 minutes before 7. As usual, tear gas, water cannons (with chemically enhanced water) and baton rounds were used by the police. The access to the metro at Taksim has been interrupted for hours so that demonstrators were not able arrive at Taksim Square. 
After police's intervention, protestors dispersed into side streets of the Istiklal Avenue, waited a while, united again and clashed repeatedly with the police. The clashes lasted until the early-morning hours. Many protesters have been taken into custody. 
It is notable that during the intense clashes in Taksim, the greatest Turkish news channels NTV and CNNTürk were televising documentaries, while another channel, HaberTürk was televising an interview with the Director of Religious Affairs about a completely irrelevant subject.

Here is a video displaying unidentified people with machetes indiscriminately attacking protesters and bystanders running from the effects of tear gas emerged after yesterday's crackdown. One of the assailants is seen kicking a woman on her back while holding a machete on his hand:

Here some scenes from the clashes:






Sources:


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