Istanbul witnesses protest festival

Turks participate in an anti-government festival called “Man Made of Tear Gas” held on the shores of the Kadıkoy district on the Asian side of Istanbul on July 7, 2013.

Hundreds of thousands of people have staged a festival in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul to protest against the police crackdown on anti-government demonstrations across the country.

On Sunday, Turkish citizens from all walks of life including a group of artists participated in the festival called Man Made of Tear Gas, Xinhua reported.

The weekend festival was held in Kadikoy district of the coastal city’s Asian side.

“This is just a beginning. (We will) keep up the struggle,” the protesters shouted during the festival, waving a large banner reading “For an independent and democratic Turkey.”

Organizers of the event said that the resistance movement against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has now taken the form of festivals.

Istanbul has been the epicenter of anti-government demonstrations since May 31, when the police broke up a sit-in staged in Istanbul’s Taksim Square to protest against the plan to demolish Gezi Park.

Several people have been killed in the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, who Erdogan has described as foreign-backed extremists and terrorists.

On June 24, Erdogan praised the “legendary heroism” of police forces in quelling anti-government protests.

“Our police have responded to attacks, provocations without violating the law … and have written a saga of heroism,” he said.

By Press TV


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