Fuel Masks and Rubber Bullets: This Used to be Istanbul These days

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ISTANBUL, Turkey — Thousands of people tried to reach Taksim Square during May Day demonstrations on Thursday in Istanbul, Turkey. However, the Turkish government shut down ferries and subways and deployed thousands of police, who barricaded the streets and used tear gas, rubber bullets and water canons to prevent protesters from getting close to the square.

Following last summer’s Gezi Park protests, demonstrations were prohibited in Taksim Square. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested that the May Day demonstration take place at a new rally venue on the outskirts of the city. But protest organizers declined, opting instead — as they have in the past — to march to Istanbul’s symbolic center and Taksim. Read more…

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