Istanbul Protests

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Protesters near the entrance to Gezi Park in Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey, June 12, 2013. Police took over Taksim Square the previous day, using heavy doses of tear gas and pressurized water in the square and in the park. Around 5000 injuries and four deaths have been reported since the Gezi Park sit-in began about two weeks ago. What started as a peaceful sit-in to save a small park near Taksim Square from being turned into a shopping mall has turned into large-scale anti-government demonstrations in cities across Turkey. In Istanbul, the protests have united communists, nationalists, anarchists, social liberals, and others unhappy with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policies. Taking inspiration from the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States, thousands of protesters have set up tents and are occupying the park in hopes of making their voices heard.