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PHOTOS: Turkish police take over Taksim Square, push back protesters

After nearly two weeks of holding Istanbul’s central square, Turkish police raided and took back Taksim Square from protesters Tuesday, pushing the protest camp back into Gezi Park where the demonstrations began in late May.

Photos and text by Oren Ziv

Anti-government protesters in front of a police water canon as Turksih police took over Taksim Square, which was occupied by protesters since last Saturday. June 11, 2013 (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

ISTANBUL — Turkish police took over Taksim Square Tuesday morning, pushing the anti-government protests into Gezi Park. Despite over 30 barricades built on the roads leading to the square, police forces entered the square within minutes, firing tear gas and using water canons against protesters who tried to block their approach. The clashes continued throughout the day as protesters set up new barricades around the park.

Turkish officials promised they would reoccupy the square but wouldn’t evict the protest camp in Gezi Park, but local activists feared police would not respect that declaration.

Click here for +972′s full on-the-ground coverage from Turkey

By the evening, police attack used tear gas to attack protesters who came to the square for a solidarity demonstration following the morning police raid.

Clashes continued until the early hours of Wednesday. Throughou the night, police water canon trucks and jeeps were moving around the camp, shooting tear gas at protesters who threw stones at them, but also at people who were just sitting in the park.

Protesters used anything they could find to protect themselves from the tear gas and water canons. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A protester throws a Molotov cocktail at police forces as they enter Taksim Square. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Turkish police guard the center of Taksim Square as activists create a human chain around them. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A protester’s clothes catch fire after he tried to throw a Molotov cocktail at police. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Protesters set up new barricades at the entrance to Gezi Park as they fear a pending police eviction. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A protester helps her friend who was injured by tear gas, as protesters tried to retake Taksim Square following a police raid. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A man walks past a van that was set on fire during the policeeviction of Takism Square. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

A woman reacts to tear gas, as police evict Taksim Square for the second time on Tuesday. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Police fire tear gas in order to force protesters out of Taksim Square. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Protesters protect one of the main barricades between Taksim Square and the camp in Gezi Park. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Protesters carry an injured woman into a medical clinic in Gezi Park. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

A protester watches a live broadcast of the clashes with police as he sits inside a cafe in Gezi Park. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

Protesters clean the area around their tents in Gezi Park. June 11, 2013. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

 

 

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