Riot police intervene in protests in Istanbul and Ankara
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
ISTANBUL/ANKARA - Riot police intervened in demonstrations in Turkey's two biggest cities, Istanbul and Ankara, sparked by the death of a teenager who had been in a coma for 269 days, since being injured in the June 2013 Gezi Park protests.
Berkin Elvan was reportedly going to buy bread when he was hit in the head by a tear gas canister during a police crackdown in the Okmeydani area of Istanbul.
In Istanbul, crowds chanting “Government resign” and “Berkin Elvan immortal” gathered in front of the Galatasaray High school in Istiklal Street and wanted to walk to Taksim Square, which the Gezi Park protesters occupied during the 2013 protests that spread throughout Turkey.
Protesters also stopped traffic in Ankara's Kizilay square; police dispersed the crowd with tear gas and water cannon.
Some protesters who had been affected by the gas were taken to nearby hospitals.
Earlier today another rally took place at the Middle Eastern Technical University (METU) in Ankara.
Earlier on Tuesday relatives and friends of Elvan gathered outside the hospital in Istanbul after learning of his death.
Amidst the crowds gathered outside the hospital, security forces intervened with pepper spray against some groups that attacked police cars with stone and sticks while forming barricades with rubbish containers.
The Gezi Park protests, which started in reaction to a construction project in Gezi Park in the Taksim district of Istanbul, spread to several other cities leaving seven dead, including a police officer.
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