'Why were police so angry?': Turkish protesters slam police brutality, return to Taksim Square

Over the weekend, a protest that started as a sit-in to protect an Istanbul park spread all over Turkey, with crowds urging PM Erdogan to step down. At least two people were killed, and over 1,000 injured in the violence.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on the protests

Most of the injuries were sustained near Taksim Square in
Istanbul, the focal point of the recent protest. 

Massive demonstrations from last night are currently continuing
in the streets, with the metropolis of Istanbul witnessing cases
of vandalism. Rallies kicked off on Friday: authorities decided
to cut the trees in Geza Park, and people took to the streets to
protest. 

The latest expression of public anger is unprecedented in
character. Unlike previous anti-government rallies and
demonstrations, people are protesting wherever they are,
including banging pots in their homes regardless of the
time
,” journalist Mahir Zeynalov writes in the Turkish daily
Today’s Zaman.

Erdogan commented on the current events stressing that protestors
should go home. “If you bring 100,000, I’ll bring out a
million,”
he threatened. The leader also vowed to rebuild the
Ottoman barracks. However, he warned police against using
excessive force.

The protest spread to 50 provinces in the last three days. The
capital, Ankara, has been engulfed by the anti-government
protests, too, the activists say. And they don’t really
understand why the police crackdown is so violent.

“People in Geza Park were just sitting there, and police
started firing at their tents, which were in the park, so we
don’t really understand why they used such force and why they are
so angry,”
activist Seda Guner indicated to RT. 

An injured demonstrator is helped during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Ankara on June 1, 2013. (AFP Photo / Adem Altan)

Another Ankara resident, who preferred to remain anonymous, told
RT that police have started gathering in the street as more
protests are expected on Sunday afternoon. Recalling the Saturday
clashes, she described police actions as “horrible,”
saying that officers were shooting at people, without caring if
they were women, children or the elderly. Cafes and some other
public places were used as makeshift hospitals and medical
students volunteered to treat the injured. She also said that one
person was killed Saturday after being targeted by water cannon.

In the meantime, protests spilled into the Turkish-controlled
part of Cyprus.

As Melis Tutan, a Cyprus-based journalist reports, pointed out to
RT, Turkish students started gathering on Saturday to protest the
events in Istanbul and express their concern over the policies of
the Erdogan government and what they describe as police terror.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Nicosia, Kyrenia,
Famagusta and Morphou, Tutan told RT.

“Many civil organizations and students walked together towards
the Turkish Embassy in Nicosia. At the beginning police tried to
stop them, but then they were allowed to chant slogans.”  



Solidarity protests were also staged or planned across Europe and
the US, with people in cities including Boston, London, Berlin,
Athens, Nicosia and Helsinki rallying against the violence in
Turkey. For instance, in New York City’s Zuccotti Park, hundreds
of Occupy movement supporters gathered for a solidarity
demonstration, and marched to the Turkish Consulate.

Turks also staged in front of the EU Parliament in Brussels to
protest the violence in Turkey, chanting anti-government slogans
and holding banners.

“This is not about a park. It’s about the abuse of state
power. It’s about media being censored. This is about
democracy,”
one of the banners held by demonstrators, read.

This article originally appeared on: RT