Access to Gezi Park prohibited on 2nd anniversary of 2013 nationwide protests

The authorities have banned access to Istanbuland’s Gezi Park, which triggered nationwide anti-government demonstrations in 2013 when there were government plans to raze it, and Taksim Square next to the park on the occasion of the second anniversary of the Gezi protests.
The Istanbul Police Department closed major roads leading to Taksim Square as of 9 a.m. on Sunday in aance of the second anniversary of the nationwide Gezi protests that erupted in late May 2013 over the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) governmentand’s plan to flatten Gezi Park near Taksim Square.
The police took strict security measures around the park and Taksim Square on Sunday. The police evicted everyone from the park on Sunday morning and all access to Gezi Park and Taksim Square was blocked off.
What began as a peaceful demonstration against the government plan to uproot trees to build a shopping mall on the site of Gezi Park, a green space in central Istanbul, spiraled into nationwide protests against then-Prime Minister and current President Recep Tayyip Erdoganand’s government after a brutal police crackdown on peaceful protesters on May 31, 2013.
The police force was criticized for excessive violence during the 2013 protests though Erdogan praised the crackdown, saying the police suppression of the protest had been and”heroic.and” The protests, the biggest incident of unrest against a government in the history of the Turkish Republic and the first serious challenge to Erdoganand’s rule, have caused a deeper divide in the already polarized nation. Erdogan has accused the protesters of terrorism and attempting to overthrow his government.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman