Europe

Protesters clash with police at Istanbul's Gezi Park

  • 6 July 2013
  • From the section Europe

Turkish riot police have been using tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters trying to enter a park cordoned off by police in Istanbul.

Thousands have converged on Gezi Park, near the city's Taksim Square - which was a focus of unrest last month.

Protests against plans to redevelop the park grew into nationwide rallies against PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On 15 June police expelled protesters occupying the park. A recent court ruling annulled the redevelopment plan.

The administrative court said the government's plan to replace Gezi Park with a replica of an Ottoman-era military barracks would not serve the public.

It is not clear yet whether the government will appeal against the ruling.

Activists had called for a march on Saturday to enter the park, which is sealed off. The governor of Istanbul had warned that they would be confronted by police.

Five people died and thousands were injured in last month's wave of protests across Turkey - the worst unrest the country had seen in 10 years of rule by Mr Erdogan.

Protesters have accused him of becoming increasingly authoritarian and trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.