Images from Turkey show other side of protests

Images from Turkey show other side of protests

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Thousands of youths holding Turkish flags participated in the protests. (Source: Arzu Geybulla) Thousands of youths holding Turkish flags participated in the protests. (Source: Arzu Geybulla)
Severe alcohol restrictions are seen as too conservative to many Turks. (Source: Arzu Geybulla) Severe alcohol restrictions are seen as too conservative to many Turks. (Source: Arzu Geybulla)
Protesters march past a Starbucks. (Source: Arzu Geybulla) Protesters march past a Starbucks. (Source: Arzu Geybulla)

(RNN) – What began as a peaceful demonstration to save a park in Istanbul transformed into a massive anti-government protest. It has led to clashes between police and protesters while capturing the world's attention.

During the past few days, people in Turkey's two largest cities rallied after police forcefully removed peaceful protesters who opposed tearing down an Istanbul park for a shopping mall, according to several reports.

The actions of Turkish police prompted some demonstrators to fight back. It turned into a massive demonstration against a government accused of encroaching on the civil liberties of its citizens.

"Police have been brutal over the past three nights and tonight [Monday] is no exception," said Arzu Geybulla, a freelance correspondent in Istanbul. "In Taksim Square tonight, there was really nothing but smoke, tear gas, and police."

Geybulla took photos of the more peaceful side of the protests, as well as some of the aftermath of the violence. The violence in Turkey has been real, but the photos that were taken between Saturday and Monday show more of the protest than just the police clashes.

Much of the focus from the protest has been directed at Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's powerful Prime Minister.

The complaints against Erdogan include his government's crackdown on press freedom, flouting the rules of the Turkish constitution, and even a ban on alcohol sales after 10 p.m.

The protests have spread throughout the country. According to CNN, 67 of Turkey's 81 provinces have seen demonstrations. More than 3,000 people have been injured, according to the Turkish Medical Association, and there have been two confirmed deaths.

Despite the violence, most of the protesters have been peaceful.

"There is a group of people who are violent, but not everyone from the group of protesters is like that," Geybulla said.

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