Turkish police clash with protesters for 2nd day

Anti-government protesters chant "unite against fascism" and "government resign," in Istanbul a day after hundreds hurt in violent protests; activists call for similar demonstrations in more than a dozen cities.

By REUTERS
June 1, 2013 12:03
2 minute read.
A protester throws a stone at riot police during an anti-government protest in Istanbul,  June 1

Rioter throws stone in Istanbul protest 390. (photo credit: REUTERS)

ISTANBUL - Turkish police fired teargas and water cannon for a second day on Saturday to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching Istanbul's central Taksim Square, scene of violent protests in which hundreds were injured on Friday.

Anti-government demonstrators wearing handkerchiefs and surgical masks chanted "unite against fascism" and "government resign" as they tried to march to Taksim. Protesters also clashed with police in the Besiktas neighborhood after crossing a bridge in another apparent attempt to reach the square.

Protesters clash with riot police during an anti-government protest in central Istanbul June 1, 2013 (Reuters)

The protest at Taksim's Gezi Park started late on Monday after trees were torn up under a government redevelopment plan, but has widened into a broader demonstration against what they say is the authoritarianism of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Riot police use tear gas to disperse the crowd during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in central Istanbul June 1, 2013 (Reuters)

Medics said close to 1,000 people were injured in the clashes in Istanbul on Friday, the fiercest anti-government demonstrations for years. Half a dozen lost eyes after being hit by gas canisters, the Turkish Doctors' Association said.

Riot police use a water canon to restrain a protester during an anti-government protest at Taksim Square in central Istanbul June 1, 2013 (Reuters)

The US State Department said it was concerned by the number of injuries while Amnesty International and the European parliament raised concern about excessive use of police force. Interior Minister Muammer Guler said allegations that police had used disproportionate force would be investigated.

Protests erupted in the capital Ankara and the Aegean coastal city of Izmir late on Friday and there were calls on social media for similar demonstrations in more than a dozen cities on Saturday.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 


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