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Protesters plan to re-enter Gezi Park

5 July 2013

Taksim Solidarity Platform intends to “enter” Gezi Park on Saturday, July 6, despite police having cordoned off the area, while another group will stage “the First Annual Gas Man Festival”  in Kadikoy, on Istanbul’s Asian side the following day.

The platform has announced that it will be in Gezi to serve the notice of the Istanbul first Regional Court’s June 6 decision which cancelled the controversial Taksim pedestrianisation project and the Artillery Barracks project.

The Taksim Square pedestrianisation project and the Artillery Barracks project have lost their legal grounds, according to the initiative.

“We have not given up our demands and gains,” read their statement, which called on all Gezi protesters to meet in Taksim at 7 p.m. to show solidarity.

Gas Man Fest

Kadikoy, on Istanbul’s Asian side, will also witness another protest on Sunday. The “Man Made of Tear Gas” Festival is set to take place on July 7 in the district, bringing together the “rebellious” crowds and a set of artists scheduled to perform at the event.

The festival flyer states that the form of protesting has changed over time, and that a new form of demonstration “for an independent and democratic Turkey” has turned all parks and streets into festivals “with the demand of freedom.”

The festival is set to host a series of artists, including Bulutsuzluk Ozlemi, Kurtalan Ekspres, Cem Adrian and the Bogazici University’s Jazz Choir. A fashion show will also be among the festivities of the event. Anti-government protests that were kicked off by severe police intervention against a small, peaceful group protesting mall plans in place of Taksim’s Gezi Park, were dealt a severe blow when police forces cleared out the park after occupation by protesters.

Despite this, the movement refused the die down and instead spread to parks nationwide and individual forms of protest erupted around the country.

Security officials are continuing to launch raids in various cities, detaining people over alleged vandalism during the protests.

Fifteen people were detained for allegedly harming private property and using Molotov cocktails while attending the Gezi protests, in what became the third wave of raids against the movement.

Security forces raided 17 locations simultaneously in four different cities, with Izmir as the focus of the operation. Istanbul, Manisa and Batman were the remaining the cities.

The suspects were detained over allegedly acting on behalf of terrorist organizations, harming private property, using Molotov cocktails and provoking the people during their time attending the anti-government protests.

Forces confiscated documents allegedly related to criminal organizations and CDs.

Two other operations were conducted on June 20 and June 24, during which 27 people were detained, 24 of whom were subsequently arrested by the court.

Some 2.5 million protesters hit the streets across Turkey since the unrest began on May 31 over the attempt to demolish Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which quickly turned into nationwide mass anti-government protest. Only in two cities did people not attend protests, while 79 cities witnessed large-scale protests, the Interior Ministry’s record of protests said, according to Turkish daily ‘Milliyet’’s report.

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