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Turkey : POLICE BREAK UP GATHERING AT ISTANBUL SQUARE

Istanbul  — Police in Istanbul are using tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters gathered at the city’s landmark Taksim Square with the intention of entering a park which has been cordoned off by police.

A few thousand people had converged on the square Saturday despite warnings from the city’s governor that the protest is illegal and police would break it up.

Organizers said protesters would serve notice to authorities of a court decision that has annulled redevelopment plans for Taksim and break through police cordons.

The park has been cordoned off since June 15, when police routed environmentalists who occupied it amid widespread anti-government protests in June.

Yesterday, Istanbul’s governor has warned that a planned gathering by protesters at the city’s landmark Taksim Square is illegal and that police would disperse participants. Gov. Huseying Avni Mutlu’s warning comes hours before protesters were expected to converge on the square on Saturday, intending to enter the nearby Gezi Park

Mutlu said the protest is unauthorized and warned police would intervene.

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