Taksim Gezi Park Protestors Speak Up on Police Raid
Police raided Taksim Gezi Park early morning, casting tear gas bombs and allegedly burning tents of protestors who were staying overnight to stop the planned the project to turn the park into a shopping mall.
Speaking up after the police intervention in Taksim Gezi Park early morning, protestors reiterated that they were “here and not going anywhere”.
Following the police intervention at 5 am, protestors set up their tents again. The group received several politicians so far, including Peace and Democracy Party deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Republican People’s Party deputy chairperson Gürsel Tekin and deputy Umut Oran.
Due to an intervention made by deputy Önder, bulldozers are yet to start their engines. However, police detained Cenk Levi, who is in charge of Greenpeace’s energy campaign. Hazar Berk Büyüktunca, a protestor who hugged a tree, became subjected to police violence and got hospitalized.
"It was hard to see anything"
A witness who spent the night in the park said:
“We were sleeping. Patrollers shouted that police was coming. We didn’t know what to do. We just at on the floor and held each other by arms. Then police casted tear gas bombs at us. Even though I had a gas mask, it was unbearable. I walked almost 70 meters without seeing anytning. We all headed towards Şişli afterwards. After pushing us out, they casted more tear gas bombs from above. Then they just came closer. Police tanks were also spraying water at everybody. It went on around 45 minutes like that. We saw a black smoke from far away. Undercover police burnt out tents.”
"Police burnt our tents"
In a statement, Mücella Yapıcı from Chamber of Architects denied allegations that protestors burnt their tents themselves.
''Dear top official [PM Erdoğan] has ruled yesterday. He said: ‘I decided and it will be removed’. And then came the intervention at 5 am - the time of morning prayer - with tear gas bombs. It violated all sorts of jurisdiction, including the holy book he believed. Let him know well that we are here and determined. This is not only a park, this is where this country takes a breath. Come and join us your breath with ours.'' (NV/BM)
The protests are expected to maintain throughout the day with different activities.
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