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Turkish Health Ministry announces injured protester numbers

12 July 2013

The Turkish Ministry of Health has announced that 535 people in Istanbul and 1,223 people throughout Turkey were transferred to the hospitals during the first month of the unrest.

The ministry cited these numbers to highlight that it had closely followed these events from the beginning and deployed the ambulances at certain points.

The information from the ministry covers incidence which took place of a one-month period from May 28th.

From the very beginning, the events were followed by the Health Ministry Health Disaster Coordination Centre, the ambulances were placed at critical points and study about bed capacities in hospitals and emergency services was conducted, with 434 ambulances and 4,732 emergency and National Medical Rescue Teams taking charge during the protests.

The Gezi Park unrest flared and spread nationwide after police conducted a heavy handed intervention on a peaceful sit-in against plans to redevelop the central Istanbul park on May 31. Protests snowballed  to a movement that involved around 2.5 million who took to the streets.

Thousands of people were injured in the heavy-handed police crackdown on the protests across Turkey which posed the biggest challenge yet to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s rule, lasting for over a decade.

On July 10, the death toll from the protests against the government rose to five after a 19-year-old protester injured in a demonstration in the western city of Eskisehir on June 2 died in hospital.

Anecdotal evidence states that many more were injured by the effects of the heavy police crackdown, but did not dare report to hospitals for fear of official reprisals.

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