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Turkish police start fresh crackdown on protesters in Istanbul


09:11, June 18, 2013

ISTANBUL, June 17 (Xinhua) -- Turkish police started another tough crackdown on thousands of protesters in Istanbul's Sisli district and Istiklal Avenue Monday evening.

Riot police used tear gas and water canons to disperse the crowds, including some unionists, who were trying to show support to the demonstrators driven out of Gezi Park adjacent to Taksim Square, the center of Istanbul.

The police started the operation in Sisli's Osmanbey neighborhood after a group of protesters attempted to make their way into Taksim Square, which has been cleansed of protesters as ordered by Istanbul's governor.

Meanwhile, five Turkish trade unions staged Monday nationwide demonstrations and a one-day strike following the harsh police intervention in Taksim Square on Saturday.

They unionists attempted to enter Taksim Square Monday afternoon, but the police have kept a tight closure on the square.

The nationwide protests started as an environmentalists' rally aiming to preserve Gezi Park which was to be replaced by an Ottoman-era barrack as part of an urban renewal plan. But a police crackdown triggered much broader anger and fanned the movement into a wave of fiery opposition against the government's policies.

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