ISTANBUL - Turkish police used water cannon to disperse protesters who tried to defy a closure order and enter an Istanbul park that was the center of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan last month.
Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu announced the reopening of Gezi park on Monday, three weeks after riot police expelled protesters to end frequently violent protests against plans to redevelop the area. But police closed the park again hours later after protest leaders called a rally there for the evening.
The Taksim Solidarity group, combining political and non-governmental groups, opposed the construction of a replica Ottoman era barracks on the site of the park.
But after a police crackdown on a small demonstration on May 31, the protest grew into a broader action against what critics saw as Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style of government.