Police back in Taksim Square

Police have been absent from Taksim Square since June 1st.

However they were back in force this morning and using tear gas and water cannon. The Governor of Istanbul, Huseyin Mutlu said that they were only there to clear banners on the statue of Ataturk and the Ataturk Cultural Centre.

There were a few minor clashes but most demonstrators had already moved to Gezi Park nearby.

Bulldozers and garbage trucks began dismantling the barricades on the square.

Prime Minister Erdogan conducted a whirlwind tour of his strongholds on June 9th, holding six rallies that day. He does not appear to be climbing down from his position on Gezi Park and still insists that it be developed. He will however, be meeting protesters tomorrow.

Meanwhile the Taksim Solidarity Platform, which represents the protesters, has softened its initial demands by no longer demanding that the Istanbul Governor and Interior Minister be sacked.

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