Police out in force in Istanbul amid third anniversary of protests

Police were out in full force around Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday, with the area cordoned off and water guns at ready as the Gezi protest movement marked its third anniversary.

However, according to a dpa reporter on the scene, their preparations were in vain as protests failed to materialize Tuesday afternoon.

The demonstrations, which began over a controversial construction project in the city's Gezi Park in 2013, snowballed into a movement against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling party.

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 - 18:25
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