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Turkish Riot Police Enter Taksim Square

Hundreds of police in riot gear moved easily past barricades in Istanbul's square early Tuesday. Many of the protesters, who had occupied the square for more than a week, were pushed into nearby Gezi Park.

Posted on June 11, 2013, at 2:02 a.m. ET

Police began by taking down banners hung by protesters on a large building at the edge of the square. The banners were replaced with a Turkish flag and a banner of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Cops briefly fired tear gas canisters as well as rubber bullets. Protesters fled into Gezi Park, where many had been camping. Some of the activists fired fireworks, fire bombs, and stones at police, reports AP.

Reuters Photo: Riot police prepare to enter Istanbul's Taksim Square

BuzzFeed News

@BuzzFeedNews

Reuters Photo: Riot police prepare to enter Istanbul's Taksim Square

Police besude a destroyed barricade with the park behind. #occupygezi

rabble

@wearerabble

Police besude a destroyed barricade with the park behind. #occupygezi

AliÅŸer Delek

@AliserDelek

Tarlabasindan molotof ve fisek atiliyor

Hurriyet Daily News reports that the governor's office sent a written statement that the operation meant to remove the banners and flag, but there was no intervention planned for the Gezi Park and the tents inside.

Police announces protestors they won't touch #gezipark, ask them to empty #taksim. Some tear gas used.

Zeynep Erdim

@zeynep_erdim

Police announces protestors they won't touch #gezipark, ask them to empty #taksim. Some tear gas used.

Police have announced they won't be touching Gezi Park & r there to remove banners & barricades but gas travels #occupygezi

Nigâr Hacızade

@nhacizade

Police have announced they won't be touching Gezi Park & r there to remove banners & barricades but gas travels #occupygezi

Police in Istanbul using water cannon and tear gas to try to clear protestors from #taksim square. #turkey

Derek Stoffel

@DerekStoffelCBC

Police in Istanbul using water cannon and tear gas to try to clear protestors from #taksim square. #turkey

Gaz bombaları polise geri atiliyor #direngeziparkı

AliÅŸer Delek

@AliserDelek

Gaz bombaları polise geri atiliyor #direngeziparkı

Gas rising over police lines from canister thrown back. #occupygezi

rabble

@wearerabble

Gas rising over police lines from canister thrown back. #occupygezi

Group trying to creep closeto Toma carrying mpolotovs

Alex Christie-Miller

@AChristieMiller

Group trying to creep closeto Toma carrying mpolotovs

Much debate about who are the "provocateurs" throwing Molotov cocktails at police. Protests have been largely peaceful so far.

Jennifer Hattam

@TheTurkishLife

Much debate about who are the "provocateurs" throwing Molotov cocktails at police. Protests have been largely peaceful so far.

Police dispersed chanting crowd and the human chain with very strong tear gas. #Taksim almost empty now. #gezipark

Zeynep Erdim

@zeynep_erdim

Police dispersed chanting crowd and the human chain with very strong tear gas. #Taksim almost empty now. #gezipark

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.