Police in Istanbul used teargas and water cannons to disperse around 500 people marching at a protest, on 18 June, against an Islamist attack on a record shop during a Radiohead album listening party. The initial Friday attack (17 June) at Velvet IndieGround Records, took place as those present were allegedly drinking alcohol during the holy month of Ramadan.
On Saturday a protest against the attack was dispersed by police, leaving several people injured and protesters running away with their eyes streaming. The demonstrators had been chanting, "Shoulder to shoulder against fascism!" and criticising President Erdogan, who has appeared to be reversing the country's secular tradition in favour of conservative Islam.
Video footage of the attack on the the shop, owned by a South Korean, showed horrific scenes as music fans were attacked with pipes with Islamists threatened to burn the shop down with them inside. Several people were injured and posted photographs on social media, featuring images of them bleeding. According to the shop's Facebook page the owner has now fled and the shop shuttered, and it is full of supportive comments from Radiohead fans worldwide.
Oxford-formed band Radiohead expressed their horror at the incident. "Our hearts go out to those attacked tonight at Velvet IndieGround in Istanbul," said the group in a statement. "We hope that someday we will be able to look back on such acts of violent intolerance as things of the ancient past. For now, we can only offer our fans in Istanbul our love and support."
Erdogan has also been criticised for attacks on press freedom, and against Kurds. Many Western observers believe the Turkish state turns a blind eye to activities across the border in Syria and is blackmailing Europe over the refugee issue. However, Erdogan claims to be a moderniser who wants his country to be a cultural "bridge" between Europe and the Middle East.