Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Police fire tear gas to disperse crowds gathered to denounce protester's death in Turkey

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013   No comments

The police staged a fresh crackdown on demonstrators in the early evening hours of Sept. 10, after groups had gathered in Istanbul's Taksim Square to denounce the death of a protester in Antakya during an intervention.

After the crowd swelled in numbers in Taksim Square, police pushed them down through the pedestrian İstiklal Avenue in order to prevent the demonstration from taking place.

Once again tear gas and water cannons were resorted to, with police chasing protesters down İstiklal Avenue and the many narrow side streets in the area.

Police also used tear gas to disperse a crowd that had arrived by ferry at the Karaköy docks, downhill from İstiklal Avenue, in order prevent them from reaching the Taksim area.


The police intervention continued for more than four hours around İstiklal Avenue's side streets.

The Istanbul bar association has stated that 41 people have been detained in Istanbul alone.

Another protest was staged in the district of Kadıköy, on Istanbul's Asian side.

Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was hit in the head by a gas canister fired by the police. However, the Turkish police released a statement saying footage from a police camera indicated that Atakan had fallen from a building, and that no intervention by the police was visible.

A doctor present during the protester's preliminary autopsy said there was no evidence to prove that the latter had fallen from a building.

Shortly earlier, police had sealed off Gezi Park next to the square following calls on social media for a demonstration.

The Taksim Solidarity Platform, which initiated the first protests against the destruction of trees in Gezi Park months ago, scheduled a public rally in Taksim Square at around 7 p.m. “We will gather at Taksim with carnations to commemorate Ahmet Atakan and denounce police violence,” the group said via its social media account.

Meanwhile, the under-21 football match between Turkey and Sweden at the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Stadium in the Kasımpaşa district was temporarily interrupted due to tear gas drifting over from the nearby Taksim area.

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Isr Ed

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