Turkey: Police breakup protest with tear gas

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Turkish protesters flee police firing tear gas on Friday, May 31 — the first day of violent confrontation over plans to cut down trees in a park on Istanbul’s Taksim Square to make room for a shopping mall. This photo was taken from the Marmara Hotel which overlooks Taksim. The heavy-handed police response to the peaceful demonstrators has sparked the biggest anti-government rallies in decades, with violent protests since having spread to Ankara, Izmir and other major cities. Two people have died, hundreds have been injured and more than 1,000 have been arrested since the crackdown, which was ordered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

(Photo by Larry Luxner)