Turkish Police Uses Tear Gas against Protestors in Ankara

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Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a protest in the capital Ankara on Saturday evening, BBC said.

MOSCOW, June 9 (RIA Novosti) - Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse a protest in the capital Ankara on Saturday evening, BBC said.

As anti-government protests entered their second week, some 5,000 people gathered for a rally in the central Kizilay Square. Similar rallies were held in other major cities, but there were no reports of violence.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the protestors’ demand for snap elections, saying that "you don't decide on early elections because people are marching on the streets."

The civil unrest in major Turkish cities was sparked by the government’s plans to demolish Gezi Park in central Istanbul and replace it with rebuilt Ottoman barracks and a shopping mall.

As the number of people protesting the mooted demolition of the park gradually increased, police moved in to disperse the crowds last Saturday by using tear gas. Outraged protesters reportedly responded by hurling stones and bottles at policemen. Over 3,000 people have been injured and at least three people have died in demonstrations across the country in the past week.

Most of the casualties were reported in Istanbul, where demonstrations began before spreading to Ankara, Antalya, Izmir, Adana and other Turkish cities. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan blamed the protests on extremists.

 

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