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Turkish demonstrators stage anti-government festival in Istanbul


09:09, July 08, 2013

ISTANBUL, July 7 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of thousands of Turks on Sunday held a festival dubbed "Man Made of Tear Gas" in Turkey's largest city of Istanbul in rejection to police crackdown on long- running anti-government protests across the country.

The weekend festival, held in Kadikoy district of the coastal city's Asian side, brought together the "rebellious" crowds and a group of artists as an extension of the anti-government protests that have been sweeping the country for more than a month.

"This is just a beginning. (We will) keep up the struggle," the crowds shouted during the festival, waving a large banner reading "For an independent and democratic Turkey."

The resistance movement against the Turkish government now took the form of festivals and people attend these events "with the demand of freedom" said the organizers of the festival.

The festival was organized by some left-wing media, including Ulusal Kanal, Halk TV and OdaTV, known for their live broadcasts of the protests.

Turkey's mainstream media, such as CNN Turk and NTV, were criticized for not showing the real protests or revealing police' use of force against protesters.

Left-wing music bands and singers performed at the festival and a fashion show presented a collection of designer Barbaros Sansal specially dedicated to "the rebellious."

The festival came one day after Turkish riot police launched a crackdown against thousands of demonstrators in Istanbul's Taksim square on Saturday.

The demonstrators gathered in the square with the intention to enter Gezi Park, which had been closed since the last police intervention on June 16 to end the national movement that started as a peaceful sit-in aiming to halt a urban project and preserve the park.

The sit-in quickly developed into nationwide protests against the government's policies after police' harsh crackdown, but the demonstrators were dealt a severe blow when police forces cleared the park in mid-June.

Despite the intervention, the movement refused the die down and instead spread to parks and cities across the country.

Security officials are continuing to launch raids, arrest protesters over alleged vandalism during the protests.

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Email|Print|Comments(Editor:LiangJun、Yao Chun)

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