|A man wears a makeshift gas mask during protests in Turkey on May 31, 2013 (AP)|
In the early afternoon Friday, Turkish police surrounded a peaceful group of protesters, and, shortly after the end of Friday prayers, began to volley a slew of tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. The protesters had been camped in Gezi Park -- a small leafy park wedged near the bustling Taksim square -- for days to prevent the ripping out of trees to make way for the building of a shopping mall.
The number of protesters “suggest the birth of a new Turkey—a majority middle class that cherishes individual rights and the environment.
Protesters gathered in their thousands in Taksim Square in Istanbul again on Sunday.The gathering was relatively peaceful after two days of Turkey's fiercest anti-government demonstrations for years.
Youths had lit fires and scuffled with police in parts of Istanbul and Ankara in the early morning but there was little violence by the afternoon.
Thousands of protesters had celebrated on Saturday night after police withdrew from Taksim Square, the focal point of nationwide protests against the government.
What had begun as an outcry against tree-felling in nearby Gezi park on Friday had snowballed into a broader protest against the government's increasingly intolerant, conservative agenda.
Since the first clashes on Friday the unrest has spread to dozens of other cities.
Interior Minister Muammer Guler claimed that 53 citizens and 26 police officers had been injured across the country.
He also said that police had arrested 939 protesters in more than 90 demonstrations in 48 cities.
Officials said a dozen people were being treated in hospital.
But Amnesty International reported two deaths and more than a thousand injured.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who retains vast public support, especially among the conservative rural population that has slowly migrated to the city, all but ensuring victor, has chastised the protests, claiming that the hundreds of people were unfamiliar with Ottoman history, and that the projects would continue unabated. In turn, the police have been using tear gas to forcibly evict the protesters camped in the park. As the use of force has escalated, the protests have morphed from an occupy style movement into a larger-scale rebuke of the AKP's heavy-handed rule. The protests have now spread to Kocaeli, Edirne, Afyon, Eskisehir, Bodrum, Antalya, Aydin, Trabzon, Mugla, Mersin, Ankara, Adana, and Konya.
My Christadelphian brothers where this weekend under attack from two over drunk Turkish men and they broke their apartment door and they just could hold the door until Police came . Police came and blamed them to being in their country. They told them “if you have complaint from them come to Police office” but they suggested them to give up about this.
My brethren thought they could help them but when they went to the Police office they accused them to have stimulated them and released them before their eyes.
The bad news is that guys living in their apartment and they are not safe any more in Turkey. “This is the justice that we have here and our rights when we our refugees in Turkey .” they say. “I don’t blame any one and this world has so many suffering inside but i had so many of them in my life. This is just a beginning for us with this problem . Need your prayer and nothing more …” Mahan From Kayseri-Turkey
It is such a shame that the beautiful work Atta Turk had done is nearly all gone. The separation of state and religion would have been the best guaranty for building up a society where different people and different religions could live peacefully together.
Find some photographs form the protests in Turkey: Protest