After a day and a night of violent clashes, Turkish police managed to force anti-government protestors out of Istanbul's central Taksim Square, leaving behind only the remnants of protestors' barricades and the lingering smell of tear gas.
Most of the demonstrators regrouped at adjacent Gezi Park, still filled with occupiers' tents, where Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan had pledged he wouldn't send police—yet. "They can call me harsh, but this Tayyip Erdogan won’t change," he said Tuesday.
And harsh he was. Armed with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons, police spent the day and night advancing on successively smaller waves of protestors, knocking aside molotov cocktails as they moved to clear the square. Over 5,000 people have been injured in the two weeks of demonstrations and police crackdowns, by most accounts, last night was among the violent.
Erdogan will apparently meet with select protestors today. In Gezi, supposedly safe but suspicious protestors prepared themselves for an attack, writing their blood types on their arms.
[images via Getty and AP]