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Turkish police storm Taksim Square and Gezi Park

11 June 2013

Earlier this morning, police used rubber bullets, tear gas and water cannon to clear protesters from Taksim Square. They then removed barricades and makeshift shelters using bulldozers and refuse trucks.

The Istanbul governor said this morning that the only objective was to clean up the square of placards and flags. Opposition was light as most demonstrators were at nearby Gezi Park.

However around 2pm this afternoon, riot police stormed Gezi Park, again using tear gas and rubber bullets. There was a violent confrontation and the police withdrew after 10 minutes.

Crowds are now gathering at Taksim Square in their thousands; angry because the governor has gone back on his promise.

These crowds will be joined by at least 20 members of parliament from the main CHP opposition party, who will spend tonight in the park.

Meanwhile 50 lawyers have been arrested and some were assaulted by riot police. They had gathered to make a press statement about Gezi Park.

This is a volatile and emotional situation and there is no telling what will happen tonight as tensions escalate.

Meanwhile the financial markets in Turkey and the Turkish Lira have all weakened again today.

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