Violent clashes over park demolition jolt Turkey

Sat Jun 1, 2013 08:43:28

At least twelve people have been seriously injured and hundreds suffered respiratory problems after police attacked protesters with tear gas and water cannon in an attempt to break up an Occupy Gezi Park rally in central Istanbul.

Clashes erupted in Turkish capital after police carried out a dawn raid against protesters on Friday.

Demonstrators are angry at government plans to cut down trees in Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square,  to make way for a replica Ottoman army barracks and a shopping mall. They say it is the last green space of any size in the center of Istanbul.

Six of the injured are suffering from serious head trauma.

A 34-year old Egyptian tourist is undergoing an operation after suffering a brain hemorrhage, Huseyin Demirduzen, from the Istanbul Medical Chamber board, told Reuters.

A member of the opposition Peace and Democratic Party is also in intensive care in a serious condition. 

Hundreds more suffered respiratory problems due to the effects of tear gas, Demirduzen said.
Several people were injured after a wall they were trying to climb in an attempt to get away from clouds of tear gas collapsed underneath them.

During the past weeks, Turkey has been also experiencing protests against government’s policies toward Syria crisis and its support of militant groups fighting in the war-torn country.

Scores of people gathered in the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province on May 11 after more than 40 people were killed in two car bombings that jolted the town earlier in the day. A third explosion hit the Turkish town of Reyhanli near the border with Syria, hours after twin car bombs.

The demonstrators said the outbreak of violence was due to the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan administration’s anti-Syria policy.

string(354) "[{"id":"1473600","sort":"3056769","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/05/12/alalam_635039728399194221_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"“Turkey has no right to blame Syria for blasts”"} ,{"id":"1474311","sort":"3056770","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2013/05/14/alalam_635041536341470682_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"'Turkey’s interference in Syria drags it into war'"} ]"