Greek police has banned all protest rallies and demonstrations in central Athens on Thursday and Friday, as part of the tight security measures adopted ahead of the official visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Athens.
The no-go area for protesters includes Syntagma, Kolonaki, Lycabettus, Monastiraki, Acropolis, Koukaki, Pangrati and Neos Kosmos, as well as the zone along Katechaki Avenue, and the route to and from the airport.
The ban will apply from 06:00 Thursday to 12:00 on Friday.
Despite the announcements, two rallies are planned for Thursday to protest against the Turkish president’s visit: One by Kurds living in Greece, who will gather in Omonia at 15:00, and one organized by the Committee for Political Prisoners in Turkey, which will include leftist and anarchist groups like “Rouvikonas”. The latter is scheduled at 18:00 in Propylea.
Police said such rallies, which are outside the security perimeter, will be allowed provided they do not try to approach Syntagma Square.
Apart from the restrictions, police will divert traffic during Erdogan’s official engagements during his visit.
About 2,800 Greek police officers will take part in the operation that will turn Athens into a veritable fortress from early Thursday until the Turkish president’s departure, including a number of snipers that will take up positions at several points along his route during his stay in the Greek capital.