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Turkish Police, Protesters Clash At Taksim

People stand facing Ataturk Cultural Center during a protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul in mid-June.
Turkish riot police have fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse some 3,000 demonstrators who tried to enter Taksim Square in Istanbul.

The clash came as protesters gathered at the square with the intention of entering a nearby park that has been blocked off by police.

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Gezi Park has been cordoned off since June 15, when police routed environmentalists and others who occupied it amid widespread antigovernment protests in June.

The nearly three weeks of protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamic-rooted government left four people dead and some 8,000 injured.

A Turkish court this week blocked the building project at Gezi, which sparked the nationwide antigovernment protests.

News broke on July 3 that plans to redevelop Taksim Square had been canceled, but the authorities are expected to appeal the decision.

The plan to cut down trees in Gezi, one of the few green areas in Istanbul, encountered resistance immediately.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters