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Gezi Park opens and closes in Turkey

Monday, July 08, 2013 - 01:14

July 8 - Shortly after a park at the center of protests in Turkey is reopened -- it is shut down over concerns about demonstrations. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.

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Turkey reopens an Istanbul park at the heart of last month's demonstrations against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. The governor of Istanbul is on hand heading into the park where he calls on citizens to come inside. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ISTANBUL GOVERNOR, HUSEYIN AVNI MUTLU, SAYING: " As of today, the park is reopened and we hope residents of Istanbul will love and enjoy it even more." It was not meant to be. Within hours of opening -- the park is cleared shortly before a new protest rally against the Prime Minister was scheduled to take place. Clashes erupt. This is the same site where a police crackdown on a small demonstration at the end of May grew into broader action against what critics see as Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style of government. Tensions stretch into the evening and night as police use water cannon to break up a crowd of marching along Istanbul's main pedestrian shopping street towards Taksim Square where the park is located. More than 80 people were detained.

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Gezi Park opens and closes in Turkey

Monday, July 08, 2013 - 01:14