Turkish protesters break Ramadan fast in Istanbul as police stand by

July 10, 2013

(Anti-government protesters eat as they break their fast on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan as police officers take position at Taksim Square in Istanbul July 9, 2013. REUTERS/Osman Orsal)

Turkish police allowed thousands of protesters who have been trying to block the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul to break their Ramadan fast on Tuesday before resuming efforts to get them to leave the area.

The previous night police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters as they tried to prevent them gathering in Gezi Park, which has become the focal point of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government.

Two leftist Muslim groups sympathetic to the protests, the Revolutionary Muslims and Anti-Capitalist Muslims, hosted fast-breaking iftar dinner in a nearby pedestrian street by the Gezi Park on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The local municipality also hosted a dinner in Taksim Square by the Gezi Park and people marched in the park afterwards.

Police used loudspeakers to warn people to leave, while people booed and clapped, but the police did not intervene.
Read the full story by Ece Toksabay and Humeyra Pamuk here.

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