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Riot police look on as Istanbul protesters hold Ramadan banquet

Anti-government protesters gather as they break their first day of fasting for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on Istiklal street, the main shopping corridor in Istanbul, on July 9, 2013. Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

Turkish police allowed thousands of protesters who have been trying to block the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul to break their Ramadan fast on Tuesday before resuming efforts to get them to leave the area.

The previous night police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters as they tried to prevent them gathering in Gezi Park, which has become the focal point of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.

People break their fast in front of riot police near Taksim Square in Istanbul. Tolga Bozoglu / EPA
During the month devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink and sex from dawn until sunset, when they break the fast with the meal known as iftar. Tolga Bozoglu / EPA

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 on the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The local municipality also hosted a dinner in Taksim Square and people marched in the park afterwards.

Police used loudspeakers to warn people to leave, while people booed and clapped, but the police did not intervene. Read the full story.

Protesters chant slogans at the entrance of Gezi park in Istanbul. Bulent Kilic / AFP - Getty Images

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