Brutal Police Crackdown Leaves Hundreds Injured in Gezi Park

World | June 16, 2013, Sunday // 13:18|  views

The protests began on May 28 spread quickly, engulfing a number of major cities. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Hundreds of anti-government demonstrators were injured as Turkish police used excessive force to clear Istanbul’s Gezi Park, the main group organizing the protests said on Sunday.

On Saturday, police drove more than 10,000 protesters out of the tent camp in Gezi Park, using water cannon and tear gas.

The city government then sent in bulldozers and refuse trucks to remove the traces of the protest that started more than two weeks ago, DPA informs. Several hundred officers entered the camp, witnesses said.

The Taksim Solidarity group said there was an excessive use of rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, noting that there were women with children and elderly people in the park. It described the police action as a crime against humanity.

It also demanded that police stop hampering the work of doctors who are voluntarily aiding the protesters, according to DPA.

The protesters had refused to leave Gezi Park in the centre of Istanbul that is slated to be replaced by a shopping mall.

The protests began on May 28 spread quickly, engulfing a number of major cities.
The rallies eventually turned into demonstrations against the authoritarian and Islamic-leaning policy of the Turkish government and of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul, Ankara, and other towns and cities has drawn international concern, especially from Europe.

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