Turkey unrest: Gezi Park reopens after police fire teargas during overnight clashes with protesters
Preparations made for Ramadan fast-breaking dinner in park
Tuesday 09 July 2013
An Istanbul park at the centre of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government reopened after a night of clashes between police and protesters, but the mood among the small groups of visitors was calm.
Police fired teargas and water cannons at protesters last night as they tried to prevent them gathering in Gezi Park, which had been sealed off by police for three weeks after police expelled the residents of a protest camp there.
A group of young men and women sat on Tuesday under a hand-painted banner in the park saying "Welcome to the Taksim martyrs' park, 1977-2013", referring to more than 30 people who died in clashes at a May Day protest in Taksim Square in 1977.
Another group placed marble tiles on the grass bearing the names of four people who died during Gezi-related clashes last month and the name of a Kurdish youth shot dead in a protest against military outposts in southeast Turkey.
There was only a limited police presence at the edges of the park.
At dusk on Tuesday the park will host the first of daily fast-breaking 'iftar' dinners during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, a statement by the local municipality said.
"We are continuing the 20-year-old tradition of Gezi Park iftar dinners," local mayor Ahmet Misbah Demircan said.
"All the people of Istanbul are invited."
The Prime Minister has faced mass protests that have spread across the country over six weeks. The protests gained momentum after police used tear gas against a peaceful sit-in in Istanbul’s Gezi Park on 31 May, objecting to the demolition of the park for a commercial development.
The protests grew into wider demonstrations against Mr Erdogan's perceived attempts to impose a religious and conservative lifestyle in a country which has secular laws. But the prime minister, a devout Muslim, says he is committed to Turkey's secular laws and denies charges of autocracy.
- 1 Drugs Live cannabis trial: Hash is less harmful than any other drug, expert claims
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Adam Levine's biggest fan had a panic attack upon meeting him, so the singer laid down on the floor to get a photo with him
- 5 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Out-of-touch MPs ‘don’t get it’, says ex-Civil Service chief
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
Boris Nemtsov shot dead: Outspoken Putin critic who had expressed fears for his life is killed near the Kremlin
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£32000 per annum + pension, healthcare & 23 days holiday: Ashdown Group: A gro...