Hundreds take to streets amid third anniversary of Istanbul protests

Hundreds of people took to the streets on Tuesday in Istanbul to demonstrate against the Turkish government, as the Gezi protest movement marked its third anniversary.

People gathered in Istiklal Avenue, a main shopping street, chanting "thief, murderers AKP," referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Police were out in full force around Istanbul's Taksim Square, with the area cordoned off and water guns at ready.

The Gezi Park demonstrations, which began over a controversial construction project in the park in 2013, snowballed into a movement against Erdogan and the AKP.

According to a tweet by a Turkish architects group Tuesday, several activists involved in the 2013 protests had been arrested after being forced to leave a building in Istanbul's Besiktas district.

Among those arrested was architect Muecella Yapici, who had helped organize protests as part of "Taksim Solidarity," an umbrella group of non-governmental organizations critical of Erdogan's regime, the Chamber of Architects of Turkey wrote on its website.

Yapici and other activists from the group had planned to issue a press statement on Tuesday night to mark the movement's anniversary.

The architects group said on its website that the forced eviction had been preceded by a legal dispute with authorities. The entire building complex had been allotted for Erdogan's office use, a measure viewed by many as against the law.

Last update: Tue, 31/05/2016 - 21:55
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