ANKARA, Turkey – Istanbul's governor has warned that a planned gathering by protesters at the city's landmark Taksim Square is illegal and that police would disperse participants.
Gov. Huseying Avni Mutlu's warning comes hours before protesters were expected to converge on the square on Saturday, intending to enter the nearby Gezi Park whose redevelopment sparked anger and morphed into nationwide anti-government protests in June.
Gezi has been cordoned off since June 15, when police routed environmentalists who occupied it. Organizers said protesters would serve notice to authorities of a court decision that annulled the redevelopment plans and then attempt to break through the police cordon.
Mutlu said the protest is unauthorized and warned police would intervene. He said authorities planned to reopen the park on Sunday or Monday.