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The sit-in at Taksim Gezi Park was restored after police withdrew from Taksim Square on 1 June, and developed into an Occupy-like camp with thousands of protestors in tents, organising a library, medical center, food distribution and their own media. Social media played a key part in the protests, not least because much of the Turkish media downplayed the protests, particularly in the early stages. As protests continued across Turkey, particularly in Ankara, police use of tear gas and water cannon led to injuries running into thousands, including critical injuries, loss of sight, and a number of deaths. Over three thousand arrests were made. On 11 June as riot police moved back into Taksim Square. On the evening of 15 June, following several peaceful evenings in the square including piano recitals, police moved in with tear gas and water cannon adulterated with pepper spray, and rapidly cleared and occupied the park and square. Protestors fled to the surrounding areas, and were chased by police, who assaulted local hotels and a hospital with tear gas and water cannon. Protests continued in the following days.
Around the World
Protests started in Turkey on 28 May 2013. The protests were sparked by outrage at a brutal eviction of a sit-in at Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park protesting the park's demolition. Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the government's encroachment on Turkey's secularism. After Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoganğan dismissed the protestors as "a few çapulcu" on 2 June, the protestorsreappropriated the term çapulcu (looter) for themselves (and coined the derivative "chapulling", given the meaning of "fighting for your rights"). Humor has been the primary "weapon" for the protestors.
Police attacks against the crowd using tear gas. The woman in red becomes the icon of the movement.
Taxis block the road to stop the police vehicles.
"It smells so damn free."
"Now there is a trouble called Twitter filled with lies. The thing called social media is the main problem of today's societies."
A tear gas shell. Production date: 2006. Expiration date: 2011.
Protesters tango in Taksim, Istanbul.
Ironic reaction of civils against the tear gas.
Ironically protesters bring food to the police.
Revolution won't be televised.
The 'Standing Man' Has Become The Iconic Protest In Istanbul's Chaos
Around the World
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Belgium media.
Around the World
Weapons and shields from a so called marginal-dark-terrorist protestor. Spray paint, swimming goggles, dust mask.
People are donating food and drinks to protesters at Gezi Park, Taksim. Protesters keep gathering and cleaning up the streets.
A pacifist has been standing in the middle of the Taksim square, looking at the Ataturk poster and Turkish flag, without a blink since 20:00. Other pacifists started to join him, just standing.
Erdogan addressed to the mothers of the protestors and said "call them back to your houses for their own safety". Mothers answered. They showed up at Taksim Square. Formed a human chain between the police and the protestors. In front of Gezi Park. This is the real "tear" gas.
Taksim, no cops- just unity!
Istanbul United: Rival fans of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, and Besiktas protest against the Turkish government together
Ballet show at Taksim Gezi Park.
Turkey Protests: Piano Replaces Tear Gas As Musicians Play In Taksim Square
Whirling Sufi Protester wearing gas mask in Gezi Park
As a result of the lack of mainstream media coverage, social media played a key role in keeping people informed, with Twitter hashtags #OccupyGezi and #DirenGeziParki being adopted. In the 12 hours from 4 pm 31 May, there were more than 2 million tweets for the 3 leading hashtags, with 88% in Turkish and 90% of geolocated tweets coming from Turkey. Erdogan said in a speech that "There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society." A December 2012 Pew Research Center study showed 35% of Turks using social networking sites.
There were reports that the 3G signal in some areas had been turned off; in response, some shops and offices removed security from their Wifi networks. Rumours of censorship led to increasing use of virtual private networks (VPNs) during the protests by Turkish mobile internet users.
A volunteer assists in medical help at Taksim Square.
"Three Wise Monkey"