Turkish police clash with protesters in central square

June 11, 2013

Turkish riots threaten the market, Britain ramps up security ahead of G8 meeting, and Syria’s war enters a new phase. Today is Tuesday, June 11, the 504th  anniversary of the not-so-happy marriage of King Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon. Here’s the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Supporters of Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan wave flags in Ankara, June 9, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas. Check out more photos of the clashes in Turkey here.

Battle for Taksim Square. Turkish riot police tried to regain control of Taksim Square, the symbolic center of days of anti-government demonstrations, removing barricades and attempting to forcibly remove hundreds of protesters who were ignoring Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s requests that they exit the square:

Crowd control vehicles fired water cannon against groups of protesters who threw stones, fireworks and petrol bombs at the police on the edge of the square. Hundreds more protesters, many wearing face masks and builders’ helmets, gathered on steps leading from the square to the park… Police appealed to the protesters not to throw rocks, calling from loudspeakers, “Dear Gezi friends. We are unhappy with this situation. We don’t want to intervene. We don’t want to harm you. Please withdraw.”

Erdogan warned members of his AK Party of economic fallout from the protests, pointing to an increase in interest rates and deteriorating investment environment as examples of part of a systematic effort to harm Turkey’s reputation. Turkey’s central bank said it would step in to support the lira if necessary. Though Erdogan has repeatedly dismissed the demonstrations and called the protesters “riff-raff,” he agreed to meet with protest leaders on Wednesday. Footage posted to Reuters on Monday shows police breaking up riots and Erdogan warning a crowd on Sunday that his patience is limited.

Police officers detain an activist after raiding a building used as a base for demonstrators protesting against the upcoming G8 summit in central London, June 11, 2013. REUTERS/Paul Hackett

G8 retreats to remote spot as protests break out. As police tussle with anti-capitalists protesters in London, Britain is taking extra security measures ahead of this year’s Group of Eight (G8) meeting in Northern Ireland. Authorities fear attacks by remaining members of the historically violent Irish Republican Army:

Cameron’s government has chosen a secluded lakeside hotel near Enniskillen to host U.S. President Barack Obama and his Group of Eight colleagues at a summit next week, banking on its remote location to deter anti-globalists, Islamists and any other potential trouble-makers. In doing so, he is running a calculated risk that Irish militants, who do not accept the IRA’s 1998 peace agreement with Britain, will be unable to trouble Northern Ireland’s experienced security forces.

The group calls for Britain to grant Northern Ireland its independence, and lost much popular support when it killed 11 and wounded 63 civilians during a 1987 bombing in Enniskillen. Despite the locale’s morbid history, some believe it is safer than the UK, recalling attacks on London during the 2005 G8 meeting. Police in riot gear scuffled with anti-capitalist protesters staging a “Carnival Against Capitalism” in central London ahead of next week’s talks.

A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his rifle in Aleppo’s Karm al-Jabal district, June 8, 2013. REUTERS/Muzaffar Salman

Assad troops aim higher. Expert onlookers say Syria’s civil war is beginning to tip in Assad’s favor. In the wake of a government victory in Qusair, Assad’s forces are setting their sights on a tougher target – recapturing the rebel-occupied city of Aleppo:

Efforts to dislodge rebels in Aleppo will be a much tougher proposition than last week’s capture of the town of Qusair, with military analysts predicting that the conflict will probably drag on for months or years as Assad’s many foes are likely to be galvanized by recent rebel reversals. Alarmed by Assad’s swift advances and hoping to turn the tide, Washington might decide later this week on whether to start arming the rebels, a U.S. official said. Assad’s army is preparing to lift sieges on areas close to Aleppo before turning its sights on the country’s second city, according to the semi-official Syrian al-Watan daily.

Israel has also changed its tune on the likelihood of Assad’s fall from power. For the first time since the conflict began, an Israeli minister noted that Assad could win with support from Hezbollah and Shi’ite Iran. Syrian state media reported that two bombs killed 14 in central Damascus today, in an attack apparently targeting a police station.

Nota Bene: France’s homeless squat in offices to call attention to a dysfunctional housing market.


Tweet heat – Data shows why Erdogan is right to be afraid of social media. (Bloomberg)

What next? – For survivors of the Rana Plaza collapse, the future is uncertain. (Time)

Waste wars – Cape Town police arrested at least 180 people ahead of a protest demanding proper sanitation. (BBC)

China hacker unit – An elite NSA team is deploying hackers to fight China’s cyber invasions. (Foreign Policy)

Underground Daily Show Iran’s Jon Stewart delivers illegal political satire. (The Atlantic)

From the File:

  • Blast kills eight outside Afghanistan’s Supreme Court.
  • Opposition leaders under house arrest ahead of Iran’s presidential election.
  • Koreas call off talks over the diplomatic ranks of chief delegates.
  • Nearly 300 Cambodian garment makers fired over labor strikes.
  • Myanmar minister backs two-child policy for minority Rohingya.


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