Angered by outdoor seating ban, cafe owner attacks municipal police
A protester carries an empty chair during a demonstration on July 29, 2011 in protest of a recent crackdown on outdoor seating by Beyoğlu Municipality. Photo: Zaman
Angry over occupancy fees and a ban on outdoor seating imposed by the Beyoğlu Municipality on shops in the district, a man operating a nargile café staged an armed attack on a municipal police station.
Nobody died or was injured in the attack.
Hasan Ş. (38), who reportedly owns a nargile café along Talimhane Recep Paşa Street, opened fire on a municipal police station late on Monday. The man attempted to flee the scene and municipal police chased him. The suspect fired into the air as he tried to escape as well; one of the bullets hit the window of a taxi driven by Yüksel Şen.
Nobody was injured or died in the shooting and the suspect was detained and brought to the Taksim Police Station. His unlicensed gun was confiscated. Hasan Ş. reportedly said in his testimony that he does not feel regret and that he carried out the attack because he was angry at municipal police.
Monday's incident came amid protests against a Beyoğlu Municipality crackdown on outdoor tables across an ever-crowded Beyoğlu. Tensions have been especially high in the Asmalımescit Street area, where the view of sidewalks occupied almost entirely by restaurant tables especially at night is normal.
Hundreds of people, including restaurant and bar owners in the Taksim area, marched through Beyoğlu's İstiklal Street carrying empty chairs to protest the municipality crackdown. The municipality says it responds to citizens' complaints of the illegal blockage of streets and sidewalks.