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Seventeen protesters detained in Istanbul’s Gezi Park

Press TV

Turkish security forces have detained 17 people, including a German human right activist, during a fresh protest in Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

The arrests were made early on Tuesday after a group of people began lying down on the ground at the park, Turkish media reported.

Municipality workers also collected symbolic tombstones placed at the park in memory of the people who were killed during the anti-government protests in the park and neighboring Taksim Square.

Among the detained was German national Klaus Muller, who was taken away by the police while chanting in English and German.

Meanwhile, security forces carried out a string of raids in five cities across Turkey, and rounded up 19 people in connection with previous protests.

On May 31, Turkish police broke up a sit-in held at Istanbul’s Taksim Square to protest against a proposal to demolish Gezi Park.

The violence turned into nationwide demonstrations against the ruling Justice and Development Party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with police using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators.

Erdogan, who has come under fire over the heavy-handed handling of the demonstrations, has described the protesters as vandals, looters or terrorists, and claims the demonstrations are part of a plot to topple his government.

Five people, including a police officer, have been killed and more than 5,000 protesters and 600 police officers injured in the protests.

The Turkish government has also arrested many activists, among them high school students, on allegations of inciting unrest.

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