Monday

9th Dec 2019

Turkish police clash with Taksim protestors

Turkish riot police pummeled protestors with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons in Istanbul’s Taksim square into the early hours of Wednesday (12 June) as unrest deepens over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s strong-arm tactics to stamp out the demonstrations.

The 13-day stand-off has left some 5,000 injured and four dead in what started off as a peaceful demonstration against a shopping centre project in central Istanbul.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

  • Turkish police fire tear gas to clear demonstrators from Taksim square in central Istanbul. (Photo: Ester Karadag)

The sit-in quickly spiralled into a wider protest over what many Turks see as Erdogan’s uncompromising grip on power.

On Tuesday, Erdogan once again struck a defiant tone. He accused the protesters - which had swelled to around 30,000 people - of “being used by some financial institutions, the interest rate lobby and media groups to [harm] Turkey's economy and [scare away] investments,” reports Reuters.

By Wednesday morning, the bulldozers had swept away the tents and debris from the square.

Erdogan has called the protestors capulcu or looters, but those demonstrating say they have been doing so peacefully.

A Turkish paleontology graduate student in Instanbul told this reporter via Facebook on Tuesday that people were still sleeping in their tents or having breakfast in the early morning before the blue and white helmeted riot police attacks started.

“When the police attacked with gas bombs a group of about 30 provocateurs who are not among us, not activists, not among the people who resist, started attacking the police with Molotov cocktails,” he noted.

“This is all a planned game to be played in front of the international media,” he said.

Parallel protests in Ankara the same day were equally met with police force.

Meanwhile, Erdogan is set to meet some of the Taksim protestors this week to discuss the shopping centre construction project.

Feature

Russia makes big promises to Arctic peoples on expansion

The Arctic future conference kicked off with optimistic presentations by ministers and officials of the Russian government — but also a burst of scepticism from representatives of those actually living in Russia's Arctic and Far East regions.

Macron spars with US and Turkey over Nato

French president Emmanuel Macron clashed with US president Donald Trump and Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Nato, as the future of the alliance begins to fray following Ankara's invasion into north-east Syria in October.

Doubts over using EU 'peace fund' to supply arms to Africa

EU ambassadors met behind closed doors in Brussels to discuss the possibility of providing arms and ammunition to foreign armies in conflict areas like Mali. Not all were impressed by French-German support for a new EU 'peace fund'.

News in Brief

  1. Greece denies access to fair asylum process, report says
  2. Report: Self-regulation of social media 'not working'
  3. Turkey: Greek expulsion of Libyan envoy 'outrageous'
  4. Merkel coalition may survive, says new SPD co-leader
  5. Von der Leyen Ethiopia visit a 'political statement'
  6. Over 5,500 scientists ask EU to protect freshwater life
  7. Iran defies EU and UN on ballistic missiles
  8. Committee of the Regions: bigger budget for Green Deal

Magazine

EU diplomacy 2.0

MEPs on the foreign affairs committee ought to be like second-tier EU diplomats on the Western Balkans and Russia, according to its German chairman, but foreign policy splits could bedevil its work.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. Russia makes big promises to Arctic peoples on expansion
  2. UK election plus EU summit in focus This WEEK
  3. Migrants paying to get detained in Libyan centres
  4. Searching for solidarity in EU asylum policy
  5. Will Michel lead on lobbying transparency at Council?
  6. Blood from stone: What did British PR firm do for Malta?
  7. EU Commission defends Eurobarometer methodology
  8. Timmermans warns on cost of inaction on climate

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us