14:34 GMT +322 June 2018
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    Riot police use tear gas to disperse demonstrators during a protest against parliament speaker Ismail Kahraman, outside the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey April 26, 2016.

    Turkish Police Detain 12 at University Protests, Use Rubber Bullets on Crowds

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    Turkish police detained at least 12 people and used tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets on crowds protesting the dismissal of hundreds of academics February 10.

    Up to 1,000 people had gathered near Ankara University for the demonstration, but police blocked entrances to the school with tear gas and water cannons and fired rubber bullets at those attempting to get onto the campus. Fights broke out as police forced people back from campus entrances.

    Where crowds could gather, they chanted slogans critical of the country's ruling AK Party: "AKP will be held accountable" and "shoulder to shoulder against fascism," Reuters reports.

    China's Xinhua News reports a similar scene in Istanbul's Bogazici University, where some 500 people protested the government's ongoing crackdown, calling dismissals of academics "unfair and illegitimate."

    The latest round of dismissals came Tuesday, when more than 4,400 people, mostly civil servants, lost their positions, among them 330 academics.

    Since a failed coup attempt last July, Turkey has suspended or sacked more than 125,000 people and arrested 45,000. Turkey believes US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen was behind the coup, and has spent months rooting out anyone suspected of having ties to him or his worldwide school network.

    Some academics dismissed this week were targeted for having signed a petition calling for peace talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Xinhua reported.

    Turkey Purge, citing local media, says at least 237 people have been arrested and 669 detained over the past nine days.


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