Turkish police on standby ahead of Gezi riot anniversary

Although access to the popular Taksim Square will not be blocked, public transport to the square will be cancelled.

Turkish police on standby ahead of Gezi riot anniversary

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkish authorities in Istanbul are bracing themselves for a possible repeat of last year's Gezi Park riots in Taksim Square as the May 31 anniversary of the protest approaches.

Up to 25,000 police officers and 50 water cannon trucks are on standby has Istanbul governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu warns that protests in the area, which is currently undergoing redevelopment, are banned.

“We are not closing down Taksim at all. But when there is a difficult situation, measures are taken as a process of a couple of hours or a day. One would wish that both Taksim and Gezi Park will be full of people as they are right now,” Mutlu said.

Although access to the popular Taksim Square will not be blocked, public transport to the square will be cancelled.

Last year, riots broke out when police used tear gas to evacuate protesters who were holding a sit-in in Taksim's Gezi Park against plans to commence a redevelopment project.

The heavy-handed tactics used by the police spurred on a backlash in the form of anti-government riots that lasted for days.

Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2014, 12:22
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