ISTANBUL | Turkish police fired teargas and water cannon on Monday at protesters who tried to defy a closure order and enter an Istanbul park at the center of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government.
Gezi Park was only open for a few hours after Istanbul’s governor allowed people back in, following often violent protests last month against plans to redevelop the area, when riot police ordered it shut ahead of a planned rally.
Hundreds of people were forced to leave before the start of the protest organized by the Taksim Solidarity group of political parties and non-governmental organizations opposed to the redevelopment.
Police then intervened with water cannon to break up a crowd of several thousand marching along Istanbul’s main pedestrian shopping street towards Taksim Square where the park is located.
Clashes between police and protesters continued late into the evening in the Taksim area, with police firing repeated volleys of teargas at small pockets of demonstrators who fled down side streets.
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