June 16 marks the 18th day of fierce antigovernment protests in Turkey. Escalating violence is being documented by activists who are accusing the police of cruel and excessive force. Gassing and other manifestations of violence are wreaking havoc in neighborhoods throughout Istanbul, Ankara and smaller cities throughout the country.
The infighting reached another level last night, after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan ordered the riot police to storm the protests' center, Gezi Park—a maneuver that set off a maelstrom of chaos in Istanbul's downtown area.
Erdogan has been particularly intolerant of activists' use of social media, calling the technology "the worst menace to society." In an interview last week, he referred to protestors as "looters," and blamed the entire episode on the use of social media sites like Twitter, which according to him spread lies.
On the other hand, activists say their local news agencies are ignoring parts of the story in order to paint Erdogan and the riot police in a favorable light.
Perhaps even more than their presence on the ground, these Tweets may just be the most defiant of actions. Wherever your sympathies lie, this is a group of people who refuse to stay silent.June 9, 2013
This is amazing, the whole neighbourhood around #Taksim are out on their balconies banging pots in protest. Wow.— Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew) June 16, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 15, 2013 June 16, 2013 June 16, 2013
This is amazing, the whole neighbourhood around #Taksim are out on their balconies banging pots in protest. Wow.— Bel Trew - بل ترو (@Beltrew) June 16, 2013 June 16, 2013 June 15, 2013
İstiklal caddesinde bir gözaltı anı !.. pic.twitter.com/oAkToQxadk— #DirenGeziParkı (@DirenGezi) June 16, 2013 June 16, 2013 June 16, 2013
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