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Turkey: Protesters celebrate with beer in defiance of alcohol ban00:59

Turkey: Protesters celebrate with beer in defiance of alcohol ban

Turkey, Istanbul
June 1, 2013 at 17:30 GMT +00:00 · Published

Turkey: Protesters celebrate with beer in defiance of alcohol ban

Taksim Square is celebrating the retreat of riot police on Saturday, guzzling beer and toasting each other in defiance of a new law restricting alcohol consumption. After a day of anti-government protests and clashes between protesters and police the explosive atmosphere has turned into a state of celebration with people drinking, singing and dancing.

Earlier on Saturday police fired warning shots in the air during clashes with protesters on the square in the centre of Istanbul. It led Human Rights Watch to urge the Erdogan government to "end police violence and excessive use of force".

Peaceful protests against the bulldozing of trees in the Taksim Gezi Park has transformed into a wave of violent anti-government protests across Turkey. Riot police have reacted to the protests with extensive use of tear gas, pepper spray, gas canisters and water cannons, injuring hundreds of people in addition to several unverified reports of deaths.

The taste of alcohol will please many protesters after the Erdogan government cracked down on alcohol sales and advertising earlier in May. Opponents of the bill said the legislation was part of a broader Islamist agenda to which many secular Turks are protesting against throughout the country.

Turkey: Protesters celebrate with beer in defiance of alcohol ban00:59
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Turkey: Protesters celebrate with beer in defiance of alcohol ban

Taksim Square is celebrating the retreat of riot police on Saturday, guzzling beer and toasting each other in defiance of a new law restricting alcohol consumption. After a day of anti-government protests and clashes between protesters and police the explosive atmosphere has turned into a state of celebration with people drinking, singing and dancing.

Earlier on Saturday police fired warning shots in the air during clashes with protesters on the square in the centre of Istanbul. It led Human Rights Watch to urge the Erdogan government to "end police violence and excessive use of force".

Peaceful protests against the bulldozing of trees in the Taksim Gezi Park has transformed into a wave of violent anti-government protests across Turkey. Riot police have reacted to the protests with extensive use of tear gas, pepper spray, gas canisters and water cannons, injuring hundreds of people in addition to several unverified reports of deaths.

The taste of alcohol will please many protesters after the Erdogan government cracked down on alcohol sales and advertising earlier in May. Opponents of the bill said the legislation was part of a broader Islamist agenda to which many secular Turks are protesting against throughout the country.

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