Turkey charges 255 over anti government rallies

Turkey charges 255 over anti government rallies
Tue Dec 10, 2013 20:56:46

Turkish prosecutors have charged 255 protesters, including seven foreigners, over the mass demonstrations that swept the country in June.

Those indicted face a range of legal charges, including violating laws on demonstrations, damaging a place of worship and protecting criminals, local media reported on Tuesday.

There was no immediate confirmation of the report by Turkey’s judicial authorities.

At least six people died and 8,000 people were hurt in the three weeks of anti-government unrest.

Earlier this year, Turkey witnessed weeks of mass demonstrations after Turkish police broke up a sit-in held at Istanbul's Taksim Square to protest against a proposal to demolish Gezi Park on May 31.

The violence turned into nationwide demonstrations against the ruling Justice and Development Party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with police using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators.

Erdogan faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis and the Turkish police were strongly criticized for using excessive force against peaceful protests.

Erdogan had described the protesters as vandals, looters or terrorists, and claimed the demonstrations were part of a plot to topple his government.


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