It has been reported that riot police are leaving Taksim Square and allowing demonstrators free access to Gezi Park.
Barricades around the park have been removed this afternoon and tens of thousands of Istanbul citizens have flocked there. As police withdrew they were attacked with fireworks and water bombs but there was no retaliation.
Protests began when it was proposed that part of Gezi Park in Taksim Square, be converted into a shopping mall. The demonstration soon turned into a trial of strength between Prime Minister Recep Erdogan and protestors who have become angry with his authoritarian style of government.
There are now demonstrators not only in Istanbul, but also in Ankara (at a park near the Prime Minister’s office), as well as Bodrum, Konya and Izmir. Many of the protesters are chanting for Erdogan to resign.
The Prime Minister remains defiant against the demonstrators, demanding that they “stop their demonstrations immediately’. However, President Abdullah Gul took a more conciliatory line buturged peaceful demonstrations and called on the government to “pay attention to different ideas and concerns”.
In North Cyprus, there have been demonstrations in support of the Taksim Square supporters. The latest one erupted at 5pm this afternoon (Saturday) where there were more than a thousand demonstrators at Kugulu Park in Nicosia. The demonstration moved on to the Turkish Embassy where anti-Erdogan slogans were chanted.