Two killed in new protest rallies across Turkey

Two killed in new protest rallies across Turkey
Thu Mar 13, 2014 17:48:02

In renewed protests in Turkey clashes between demonstrators and riot police have left two people dead, including a police officer.

One protester died of head injuries during Wednesday protests in the major city of Istanbul as Turkish riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of demonstrators.

The protesters had gathered in central part of the city for the funeral of a 15-year old boy who had died from his injuries during an anti-government protest in 2013.

A police officer was also reported dead during the Wednesday protests after suffering a heart-stroke while confronting demonstrators in the eastern town of Tunceli, according to local media outlets.

Similar demonstrations were also held in the capital Ankara and the city of Izmir.

Escorting the coffin of the teenage victim, Berkin Elvand, through the streets of Istanbul, protesters carrying portraits of him with red carnations chanted, “Berkin Elvand, a sapling just 15 years old.”

Elvand went in a coma after he was hit by a tear-gas canister.

The latest death brings to ten the number of people killed in Turkey during protest rallies since last June.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused the protesters on Thursday of efforts to sow chaos and influence local elections after Turkey's worst day of civil unrest since anti-government demonstrations swept the nation last summer.
Erdogan said demonstrators on Wednesday "burned and destroyed" offices of his ruling AK Party in Istanbul.

"You were supposed to be democrats, pro-freedom. These are charlatans, they have nothing to do with democracy, they do not believe in the ballot box," Erdogan said at an opening ceremony for an underground train line in the capital Ankara.

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