It has become a grim pattern. Peaceful protests confronted by legions of police. The use of water cannons or, as was the case yesterday, tear gas. Allegations of excessive force, which are almost never investigated. According to media sources, security forces used fourteen tons of water mixed with pepper spray during the shocking crackdown on protestors earlier this month.The protest yesterday at Gezi Park, in Istanbul was a far smaller affair… a handful of protestors working to prevent a controversial renovation plan from moving forward in the city center. Videos and photographs show that the police stepped in with shocking force.
This time, however, the protestors seem to have carried the day. According to news reports, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a member of parliament who participated in the protests, demanded to see required documentation for the demolition of the park. Unable to produce it, the construction firm temporarily halted work. By sunset, police abandoned the park to a growing number of protestors, who staged “a mini-festival” as they carried out an all night vigil to defend the park against the possibility of a late-night resumption of demolition.