Turkish gov’t seals off Gezi Park days before the anniversary of 2013 protests

Turkish police has sealed off İstanbul’s Gezi Park near the historical Taksim square ahead of the fourth anniversary of the nationwide anti-government demonstrations that was started May 31 of 2013.

The early protests had sparked up in İstanbul’s Gezi Park in a small scale on May 27, 2013 by a group of environmentalist activists, who set up tents in the small remaining green area of the famous Taksim Square to protest the governor’s effort to demolish the park to build a shopping mall.

However, they were brutally attacked by police forces in the middle of the night on May 31, 2013. So, unrest quickly spread across Turkey, developing into a kind of revolt against what protesters said was against the increasing authoritarianism of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decade-long rule.

The park was surrounded with barriers on its side to Mete Street and İstanbul police has also piled up barriers on other sides to seal off the entire area on Monday. It was also reported by Turkish media that a group of riot police and a water cannon have been positioned inside the park in case of any resistance from the people.

Critical BirGün daily has reported that Turkish government officials are still in fear of a possible reemergence of a wave of widespread protests across the country despite four years have passed since the weeks-long Gezi Park protests in 2013. During which people with various political views had stood against the corrupt AKP government by holding demonstrations across the country.

As a result of Turkish police’s brutal treatment of the protesters at least 8 people had been killed and hundreds had been seriously wounded. (SCF with turkeypurge.com) May 30, 2017

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