On 30 May police in Istanbul broke up a small demonstration by several hundred
environmentalists, using tear gas, beating protestors and burning their tents. The cause of
the protestors and the abusive response of the authorities touched a nerve. Within days, tens
of thousands of protestors had taken to the streets across the main cities of Turkey. By the
middle of June hundreds of thousands had taken part in ?Gezi Park protests? that spanned
almost every one of Turkey?s 81 provinces.
The Gezi Park protests began as part of a longstanding campaign against the destruction of
the park, one of the last green spaces in central Istanbul, as part of the redevelopment of the
Taksim area. The plans include the building of a replica 19th century Ottoman barracks,
Topçu Kışlası, and said by the Prime Minister to include the construction of a shopping centre and mosque. ……..