Riot police move in on protesters in Turkey

Last updated at 11:50
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Nel reports on the Turkey protests

Riot police have moved in on a protest site in Turkey where campaigners have gathered for almost two weeks.

Demonstrations first began in Taksim Square - in the city of Istanbul - over plans to redevelop a public park called Gezi Park.

After police moved in to try and remove the campaigners, more and more people joined the protest.

That turned into a wider demonstration against the government.

It's thought many of the demonstrators are unhappy because they believe the government wants to take away some of their personal freedoms.


Police moved in on the group early Tuesday morning (11 June) using water cannon in an attempt to move them out of the area, but trouble soon escalated.

Officers fired tear gas and rubber bullets, leading many protesters to flee the square into adjoining Gezi Park. Some activists threw fireworks, fire bombs and stones at the police.

The Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he thinks the original protest was hijacked by troublemakers to cause vandalism.

In a speech to his parliament he defended the actions of the Turkish police force, and he has asked the protestors to move.

"I am sorry but Gezi Park is for taking promenades, not for occupation," Mr Erdogan said.

Three people have died and more than 5,000 have been injured since the protests began.