Police have cleared Istanbul's Gezi Park of protesters and have taken over Taksim Square, a CNN team there says. Obama's favorite and "most trusted" ally -- must be the shared totalitarianism.
Ankara, Turkey (CNN) -- Turkish riot police used water cannons and tear gas Saturday to clear protesters camped out in an Istanbul park that has become ground zero in anti-government demonstrations targeting the policies of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
At least 29 people were injured in clashes as police took Taksim Square and adjacent Gezi Park, Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu said in remarks carried on Turkish television stations.
Police pushed protesters onto side streets, where many -- with their faces covered with masks because of tear gas and smoke -- refused to leave and appeared to be reorganizing.
The move came shortly after police warned demonstrators who have occupied Istanbul's last remaining green space for more than two weeks to depart voluntarily or face being ejected.
The protest that began over Erdogan's plan to turn the park into a mall devolved into anti-government demonstrations that has seen demands for political reforms.
Erdogan said earlier in the day at a rally with supporters that if Gezi Park was not emptied, security forces would clear it.
"If it is not emptied, from now on, this country's security forces will know how to empty that place," he said.
Riot police fire tear gas canisters at protesters in Taksim Square
It's the Divan Hotel across from the north (Harbiye) entrance to the park. The Marmara Hotel on the south side of Taxim Square was also used by volunteer doctors for some of the 29 (last I saw) injured.
One of my Turkish friends on FB says to expect bogus claims that the police found guns, narcotics and other illegal items in the camping areas to be published by the "so called press" tomorrow "with no mention of the four and five-year-old children left breathless by excessive use of teargas". I'm sure any such claims about guns, narcotics and such will be exactly that, bogus.