Turkish police move into Taksim Square as PM calls for talks

Istanbul, June 11: Firing teargas to scatter small numbers of protesters Turkish riot police entered Istanbul's Taksim Square today.

For the last two weeks, the protestors have been staging demonstrations against plans to redevelop an adjoining park.

The unrest was sparked after police moved to suppress environmental protests over the redevelopment of Gezi Park, which is part of Taksim Square.

The protests then widened, with demonstrators accusing Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.

The police wearing helmets and carrying shields had surrounded the square and they were backed by armoured vehicles. There were no clashes reported in the nearby park.

The development come even after Prime Minister Erdogan agreed to meet on Wednesday with leaders of the movement.

The prime minister has repeatedly dismissed the protesters as "capulcular", or riff-raff. But Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said on Monday leaders of the Gezi Park Platform group had asked to meet him in an effort to end unrest in which police have blasted demonstrators with tear gas and water cannon.

More than 5,000 people have been injured and three people have died since the protests began.

OneIndia News


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