Police crack down on protesters in Istanbul

Updated: 2013-06-16 04:08


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ISTANBUL - Turkish police started a crackdown on protesters with tear gas and water cannons in Taksim Square, the center of Istanbul, on Saturday.

Riot police entered Gezi Park and started cleansing the park where thousands of protesters had stayed for anti-government demonstrations for 18 days.

The policemen also destroyed tents set up by the protesters; some people were injured and were taken by ambulances to a nearby hospital, according to a witness.

The park was evacuated as hundreds of people were driven away and more than 100 buses were waiting to take away the arrested.

The evacuation came less than an hour after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened a police crackdown on protesters if they do not leave the park on Sunday.

Taksim Solidarity Platform which organized the anti-government demonstrations had called for a mass meeting on Sunday afternoon.