With tens of thousands of protestors crossing by foot across the bridge connecting the Asian and European sides of the city it is clear that the protests in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkey are intensifying. News reports indicate that “police from as far afield as Antalya are being drafted in to help quell the violence.”
The Turkish government has clearly taken a hard line. Prime Minister Erdogan is quoted by the BBC as saying, “Police were there (Taksim Square) yesterday; they’ll be on duty today and also tomorrow because Taksim Square cannot be an area where extremists are running wild.”
In fact, it is the police who seem to be “running wild,” using force excessively and indiscriminately. Here is the latest from Amnesty:
“Friday night police used even greater levels of violence against demonstrators… There are unconfirmed reports of three deaths. Over 1000 people are thought to be injured, many of them seriously. More than 100 people have been detained in Istanbul. There are consistent reports of ill-treatment against those in detention.
Lawyers told Amnesty International that police beat protestors with truncheons when they apprehended them on the street, again at a police station close to Taksim. Similar violence against detainees was reported when protestors were transferred to the main security directorate in Istanbul.
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