Turkish riot police clash with protesters in Taksim Square

June 11, 2013 09:19

ISTANBUL, June 11 (Reuters) - Turkish riot police fired water cannon and teargas at hundreds of protesters in Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday, Reuters witnesses said, entering the square for the first time since demonstrations against plans to develop a park there turned violent.

The police move came after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan agreed to meet protest leaders, whose peaceful demonstrations two weeks ago spiraled into protests against his government in which three people have been killed and about 5,000 hurt.Police removed protesters' banners from a building overlooking the square and the local governor said police had no intention of breaking up the protest in adjoining Gezi Park.

"Our aim is to remove the signs and pictures on Ataturk statue and the Ataturk Cultural Centre. We have no other aim," Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu wrote on Twitter. "Gezi Park and Taksim will not be touched."

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