Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Turkish police battle IMF protesters in Istanbul

Well, yesterday while I was at college teaching, there was some serious action taking place not far from our home. There have been small protests in Taksim Square and nearby for the last few days, people protesting against the IMF which is holding a conference in Istanbul at the moment. It wasn't until yesterday that things really heated up and got out of control. One of the teachers I work with didn't get to school until 4.00 because he lives in Cihangir, the neighborhood where riots broke out. He declined coming out for a drink with us yesterday evening, as he wanted to shower and get all the tear gas residue of of his face, which was still irritating his skin after a few hours.

As I walked with my teacher buddies down Istiklal at about 6pm, there were just a few signs of what had happened earlier. I'm not sure, but I think it was worst in Cihangir where all the banks had their windows smashed by rioting protesters. On Istiklal you could see a few of the banks with no windows left, and bored looking security guards standing in now open doorways. A contingent of riot police in full gear marched down Istiklal, but that was all we saw.

I found this short article by the Times Online about the days events, just to give better information than I can, since I didn't witness any of it myself.

Turkish police battle IMF protesters in Istanbul - Times Online

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