Protester death sparks clashes in Turkey

Protester death sparks clashes in Turkey
Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:12:11

More clashes have continued in several Turkish cities including Istanbul and Ankara as death of protester reignites anti-government anger.

Clashes broke out in the early hours of Thursday in areas of Ankara and Istanbul, with injuries reported in both cities. Police detained scores of protesters in Istanbul.

In the southern city of Hatay, a group of about 200 people confronted police who then responded with tear gas and water cannon.

The death of 22-year-old Ahmet Atakan in Hatay on Sunday has renewed a protest movement that had cooled after thousands took to the streets in June in an expression of discontent against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Hatay is the principal city of a province of mixed ethnicities and religions that borders Syria. Tensions are high, especially in recent weeks as the UN is considering ways to solve the Syria crisis through diplomacy.

The cause of Atakan's death is in dispute. Witnesses say he was hit on the head by police, while police say he fell from a rooftop.

Muammer Guler, the interior minister, said on Wednesday that protesters were attempting to use the death to "spread chaos".

"Images were broadcast on television showing that police were not in the process of intervening... and that he fell from a height," Guler said in Ankara.

NJF/NJF

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