- Title: TURKEY: Protesters occupying Istanbul's Gezi Park show no signs of withdrawing
- Date: 9th June 2013
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (JUNE 9, 2013) (REUTERS) PEOPLE WITH FLAGS NEAR PARK ENTRANCE MEN SITTING ON STEPS, ONE READING NEWSPAPER PILE OF PLASTIC BAGS FILLED WITH RUBBISH, BANNERS IN THE BACKGROUND OWNER OF "REVOLUTION MARKET" CLEARING UP HIS MAKESHIFT SHOP VARIOUS OF PEOPLE PLAYING VOLLEYBALL VARIOUS OF WALL OF PHOTOGRAPHS WITH MEN WHO ARE MISSING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER, BERKAY, SAYING: "All people in this country - warriors now. I am warrior, he is warrior. I don't know but this is war." PROTESTERS SLEEPING ON THE GROUND (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) PROTESTER, DENIZ, SAYING: "People have met under a beautiful umbrella. We have united not only against the state. Everybody here wants their freedom and I believe that with this solidarity everybody will win the freedom that they deserve." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS PICKING UP BREAKFAST AT FOOD STATION VOLUNTEERS SWEEPING PATH BETWEEN TENTS PROTESTER SLEEPING ON THE GROUND VARIOUS OF TENTS VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS SITTING ON THE GROUND NEAR TENTS, SOME HAVING BREAKFAST
- Embargoed: 24th June 2013 13:00
- Location: Turkey
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVATMR42FAM7X0JJPZATM8BF6BD
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Protesters in Istanbul on Sunday (June 9) woke up to another day in their makeshift protest camp in Istanbul's Gezi Park, a leafy corner of the square where activists have been sleeping in tents and vandalised buses, or wrapped in blankets under plane trees.
What began as a campaign against government plans to build over the park spiralled into an unprecedented display of public anger over the perceived authoritarianism of Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party, leading to the worst riots in decades.
"All people in this country - warriors now. I am warrior, he is warrior. I don't know but this is war," a protester called Berkay said.
"People have met under a beautiful umbrella. We have united not only against the state. Everybody here wants their freedom and I believe that with this solidarity everybody will win the freedom that they deserve," said a protester called Deniz.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Friday (June 7) called for an immediate end to anti-government demonstrations. But he has given no indication of plans to clear out Taksim Square in central Istanbul, around which protesters have built dozens of barricades made of ripped up paving stones, street signs, vandalised vehicles and corrugated iron, clogging part of the city centre.
Erdogan has made clear he has no intention of stepping aside - pointing to the AK Party's 50 percent of the vote in the last election - and has no clear rivals inside the party or out.
He has enacted many democratic reforms, taming a military that toppled four governments in four decades, starting entry talks with the European Union and forging peace talks with Kurdish rebels to end a three-decade-old war.
But in recent years, critics say his style, always forceful and emotional, has become authoritarian.
Media have come under pressure, opponents have been arrested over alleged coup plots, and moves such as restrictions on alcohol sales have unsettled secular middle-class Turks who are sensitive to any encroachment of religion on their daily lives.
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