ISTANBUL, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- Thousands of Turkish protesters took to the streets on Saturday in Istanbul to oppose the newly approved bill to tighten internet censorship across the country.
Organized under the slogan "uprising against censorship" on social media, the protesters gathered in the streets leading to Taksim Square in downtown Istanbul.
Thousands of riot police took heavy security measures and cordoned off the Taksim square and nearby Gezi Park, a symbol of last year's massive demonstrations held in bid to preserve the recreational facility.
As protesters marched to the square, riot police responded with water cannons, rubber ballots and tear gas.
The protests are supported by some 50 forums, civil society organizations, platforms and peace and opposition parties such as Democracy Party BDP and People's Democracy Party HDP.
Turkey's parliament on Feb. 6 approved the legislation which allows the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) to seek tighter control over the internet.
The bill drew criticism both from international and domestic organizations, stating that the government bans the basic human rights including the freedom of expression.
According to the new legislation, the authorities would be able to block websites without a court order within four hours. It also requires that internet service providers (ISPs) store data on their clients' online activities for up to two years and the police and the ruling authorities upon their request could reach the files.