Istanbul police detain 37 people on tenth anniversary of Gezi Park protests

The Istanbul police on May 31 intervened with tear gas against the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Gezi Park protests organized by the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) on İstiklal Avenue and detained 37 party members.

Duvar English

The Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) on May 31 organized a protest in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district for the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Gezi Park protests. The TKP members marched on the Istiklal Street and faced police intervention with pepper gas in the first minutes of the protest. 

The TKP stated that the police detained its 37 members and added, "We are together at the place where our honorable resistance started 10 years ago when millions took to the streets against the reactionary Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. Those who do not obey will win, we will win!" 

TKP members hung the banner reading "Do not obey," which they hung 10 years ago at the Atatürk Cultural Center in Taksim Square, this time at Demirören Shopping Mall on the İstiklal Avenue. 

The party members chanted slogans such as "Everywhere Taksim, everywhere resistance" and "Do not obey, reclaim your country.” 

Gezi Park protests initially began in Istanbul in May 2013 as a reaction to renovation plans of the ruling AKP, which aimed to construct a replica Ottoman barracks on the city's few remaining green spots. The protests later grew into nationwide protests and spread to other cities. The protestors faced extreme police violence, and eight civilians lost their lives. 

Today, prominent civil society figures such as Osman Kavala and Mücella Yapıcı remain arrested on charges of "attempting to overthrow the government of the Republic of Turkey" and "financing the Gezi Park protests."