For two weeks now, protests have been taking place in Turkey. And like many a modern protest, there was at least one RC drone on the scene capturing video footage from above.
All was going well — for the drone — until police allegedly shot it out of the sky over Taksim Square in Istanbul.
The video directly before the drone was shot was lost, but the moments of drama between police and protesters before were recorded. Footage includes what could be tear gas rising, protesters being sprayed and police troops being deployed.
Take look (Note: Skip to four minutes in to see when more of the clashes begin to occur):
The person who posted the video on Vimeo, going by Jenk K, wrote that the video recording when the equipment was supposedly shot did not save and both the camera and the drone itself were ruined.
Turkish activists continued their sit-in through Friday over their discontent of the Gezi Park redevelopment project, which sparked Turkey’s biggest protests in decades. The protesters considered a pledge from Recep Tayyip Erdogan to let the courts and a potential referendum decide the fate of the park, one of the last negotiations that came after he had issued a “final warning” for protesters to clear out.
The two-week standoff has damaged Erdogan’s international reputation and led to repeated interventions by riot police. After initially inflaming tensions by dubbing the protesters “terrorists,” the prime minister has moderated his stance in closed-door talks in the last few days.
But Erdogan told party members Friday that the protesters in the park had “stayed long enough.”
“‘Go and speak to them … Don’t let us be forced into reverting to different measures,’” Erdogan said he had told the protesters’ representatives.
Earlier in the day, Erdogan’s ruling party announced that the government would suspend its plan to cut down trees in Gezi Park and install a replica Ottoman barracks until the courts could rule on its legality. And even if the courts sided with the government, a city referendum would be held to determine the plan’s fate, officials said.
It was not clear whether the overtures would work though.
Erdogan has pledged to end the two-week protest but has also urged his supporters to rally in Ankara and Istanbul this weekend. Those demonstrations could raise tension between his conservative, Islamic base and the people occupying the park who are mostly – but not all – liberal- and secular-minded.
By Friday night, the mood of the thousands in the park was described as festive with many singing songs or taking photos of makeshift barricades erected by protesters.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.