Nearly two weeks after a protest to defend a downtown Istanbul park mushroomed into a near-national movement, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan opted June 11 for a power play against his critics. But the protest movement isn’t showing signs of crumbling.
At around 7am on June 11, police swept through Istanbul’s Taksim Square and the nearby Gezi Park with riot vehicles, using water cannons and tear gas to clear out protesters and their banners. Their protest, launched in late May against a construction project in the park, has evolved over the past week into a catch-all campaign against Erdoğan’s authoritarian-minded governing style.
The move against the protesters came after the prime minister had earlier announced his intention to meet with leaders of the Gezi Park movement on June 12 to listen to their concerns.
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Jonathan Lewis is a freelance photojournalist based in Istanbul.