Police fire tears gas in Turkey mine disaster protests

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Riot police intervene as demonstrators march in Ankara and Istanbul in support of victims of mine fire disaster

Riot police intervene as demonstrators march in Ankara and Istanbul in support of victims of mine fire disaster

ISTANBUL - Turkish police in Ankara and Istanbul have fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of demonstrators protesting over the deaths of more than 240 workers in the country's coal mine disaster.

Demonstrations and protests were held on Wednesday as anger rose over working conditions at the mine in Soma, western Turkey, where more than 270 miners were killed and about 120 others remain trapped following a fire a day earlier.

Riot police in Ankara, fired gas canisters to disperse hundreds demonstrators in the Turkish capital's Guven Park in Kizilay Square as they tried to march to the Parliament building.

- Demonstrators barred

The intervention came after fireworks were thrown at police, injuring one officer. Security was also strengthened around ministry buildings.

In Istanbul, hundreds of protesters tried to march from the city's Tunel district towards Taksim Square, chanting slogans in support of victims of the disaster.

Groups were barred from marching towards Taksim Square, where security had been strengthened, with police firing tear gas and using water cannon as demonstrators threw stones.

Members of the country's major unions taking part in the demonstrations included the Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey, Confederation of Public Workers' Unions, Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, Turkish Medical Association and Confederation of Turkish Trade Unions, as well as some political parties.

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