Turkish police allowed thousands of protesters -- who have been trying to block the planned redevelopment of a park in Istanbul -- to break their Ramadan fast today (July 9, 2013), before resuming efforts to get them to leave the area, the Yahoo News website reports.
Last night, police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters as they tried to prevent them from gathering in Gezi Park, which has become the focal point of protests against Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.
Two leftist Muslim groups sympathetic to the protests -- the Revolutionary Muslims and Anti-Capitalist Muslims -- hosted fast-breaking iftar dinner in a nearby pedestrian street by the Gezi Park on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The local municipality also hosted a dinner in Taksim Square by the Gezi Park, and people marched in the park afterwards. The park had been sealed off for three weeks after police expelled the residents of a protest camp there.