Fresh reports and videos have been released showing plainclothesmen attacking anti-government protesters with knives, machetes and sticks in several cities in Turkey, Press TV reports. On July 11, men with knives and sticks attacked a group of people who gathered in Istanbul’s Fatih District to commemorate a 19-year-old boy who died of injuries he sustained during anti-government demonstrations. Ali Ismail Korkmaz was the latest victim of police crackdown on anti-government protesters. He died at a hospital on July 10 after he was badly beaten by unidentified plainclothesmen during protests on June 2. Turkish lawmaker Oguz Kaan Salici told Press TV that the men are civilians who are protected by the Turkish police.
“In the beginning of the Taksim protest we saw that 10 or 20 guys with sticks in their hands and sometimes small knives. They were attacking the protesters or trying to make them afraid. Police is unfortunately with them,” he added.The campaign against protesters is sweeping across Turkey, as cameras caught a man at Taksim on July 8 in plain clothes who chased protesters with a machete and even kicked one woman in her back. On July 11, another machete-wielding man got out of a taxi and chased protesters in Ankara. Meanwhile, 12 protesters including members of the Taksim Solidarity group were released from prison for lack of evidence. They were accused of forming an illegal group to commit crime. The group, however, said they would continue their resistance. The Taksim Solidarity platform is a leading organization against the construction of a shopping mall project at Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which triggered a wave of protest across the country. The Turkish protesters said Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is one of Istanbul’s last public green spaces. SAB/SS