The Iran Project

Turkey arrests 30 in crackdown on anti-govt. protests

The Turkish police have arrested some 30 demonstrators as part of a determined effort to stamp out weeks of anti-government protests.

“We understand that about 30 people have been detained today,” lawyer Hasan Kilic, a member of the Istanbul Bar Association board, said on Tuesday.

“In total, the bar association estimates 1,042 people were detained and that about 40 have been arrested, while the rest were released,” Kilic said.

Meanwhile, a state prosecutor in Istanbul rejected the release of captured members of the Taksim Solidarity group.

The group, which has helped organize the anti-government demonstrations, includes political activists, trade bodies, political parties and non-governmental organizations.

The unrest in Turkey began on May 31 after police broke up a sit-in held at Istanbul’s Taksim Square to protest against the proposal to demolish Gezi Park.

Over the past couple of weeks, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters held demonstrations in tens of cities across the country.

The protesters say Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is one of Istanbul’s last green public spaces.

Five people, including a police officer, have died in the clashes and more than 5,000 protesters and 600 police officers have been injured.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been harshly criticized for the way he has handled the crisis.

According to a number of political analysts, the popularity of the ruling AK Party — which has won three straight elections — could decline if Erdogan does not resolve the crisis in a way acceptable to the general public.

By Press TV


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