On Sunday, Turkish police detained 441 people following clashes in Istanbul between police and anti-government protesters, an official at the city’s bar association told Reuters.
Throughout Sunday, police in Istanbul shot water cannon and tear gas at thousands of demonstrators who were trying to get into Taksim Square. An official from the capital Ankara bar association said 56 people were detained there.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday warned of harsh punishment for demonstrators.
“Those who terrorized the country for 18 days will pay the price within the boundaries of the law,” he said, addressing hundreds of thousands of people at Kazlicesme square in Istanbul.
“We will trace the social media to find those who have provoked incidents,” he warned.
“Now, Gezi Park has been cleared and handed back to its people. The municipality has cleared the park and renewed it with new flowers,” the prime minister boasted.
Tight security measures have been taken ahead of the Sunday pro- government rally. All the roads leading to the Kazlicesme square were closed and the police surrounded the whole area with barriers.
About 1,000 riot policemen were brought to Istanbul from the southeastern and eastern provinces to support their colleagues.
So far, Clashes between the police and protesters across Turkey have killed at least five people, including a policeman, and injured some 5,000.