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Riot police storm Taksim Square as Turkey cracks down on protesters

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Riot police fire tear gas to disperse the crowd during a demonstration near Taksim Square on June 11, in Istanbul, Turkey.

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People run away as Turkish riot policemen fire tear gas on Taksim Square on June 11.

Kostas Tsironis / AP

A protester throws a petrol bomb towards riot police during clashes in Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 11, 2013.

Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP - Getty Images

Protests that started as an outcry against a local development project in Taksim Square have snowballed into widespread anger against what critics say is the government's increasingly conservative and authoritarian agenda.


ISTANBUL – Hundreds of riot police clashed with protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on Tuesday, as protests against the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan intensified.

The latest violence began Tuesday morning when police moved past barriers erected by the protesters and into the square to scatter a small number of people who have been camped there to protest against a planned redevelopment of the square.

Hundreds more protesters nearby - many wearing gas masks - joined to charge toward police, throwing Molotov cocktails and rocks. Police responded with round after round of tear gas canisters and frequent blasts from water cannons.

Tourists fled hotels near the square, covering their mouths with napkins, as clouds of noxious gas spread over a large area downwind of the center of the protests. 

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Kerim Okten / EPA

A protester is hit by water sprayed from a water cannon during clashes in Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey, on June 11, 2013.


Tolga Bozoglu / EPA

Turkish riot police remove protest flags from Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 11, 2013.

Angelos Tzortzinis / AFP - Getty Images

Protesters help one another during clashes with riot police in Istanbul's Taksim square on June 11, 2013. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he had "no more tolerance" for the mass anti-government demonstrations that have engulfed the country, as police clashed with demonstrators in Istanbul on a 12th day of unrest.

Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images

Protesters take cover behind a barricade as fireworks go off nearby during clashes between protesters and riot police in Taksim square in Istanbul on June 11, 2013.

Kerim Okten / EPA

A man extinguishes a fire on a GSM mobile antenna truck which was set on fire by protesters during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 11.