Turkish Police Raid Taksim Square

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
June 11 2013 12:18 PM

Turkish Police Raid Taksim Square as Erdoğan Tells Protesters "It's Over"

A Turkish riot police member points at protesters at Istanbul's Taksim square, the epicentre of nearly two weeks of anti-government demos, during clashes with protestors on June 11, 2013 on a 12th day of unrest

Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images

As we all continue to focus the lion's share of our attention on Edward Snowden and the NSA, it's important to remember that a story that was front-page news less than two weeks ago is still very much unfolding overseas: The mass demonstrations protesting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government entered their 12th day Tuesday, with authorities using an increasingly heavy hand to stamp out their critics. Here's the Associated Press with the latest details from the ground:

Hundreds of riot police overran improvised barricades at Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday, firing tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in running battles with protesters who have been occupying the area for more than a week.
The police raid ... sparked clashes with groups of demonstrators well into the afternoon. Many other protesters fled into the adjacent Gezi Park, where hundreds have been camping out to stop developers from cutting down trees in the park. As police moved in, bulldozers began demolishing the barricades and the makeshift shelters.

The unrest began as a small environmental rally protesting plans to tear down a six-square-block city park, but has ballooned into something much larger over the past two weeks with demonstrations occuring in more than 70 Turkish cities. Speaking from the capital as the raid was unfolding, Erdoğan told the protesters that "it's over" and promised that "not only will we end the actions, we will be at the necks of the provocateurs and terrorists, and no one will get away with it."

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City. 


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