Turkish police use tear gas as protests resurface

Turkish police use tear gas as protests resurface
A demonstrator holding a bottle takes cover from the tear gas thrown by riot police during a protest in Istanbul's Kadikoy district early September 12, 2013.

ISTANBUL - Riot police used tear gas to disperse pockets of anti-government demonstrators in several Turkish cities for a third night and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan vowed to stamp out what he described as efforts to"create chaos".

Officers backed by armoured vehicles and water cannon played cat and mouse into the early hours of Friday with groups of youths in the streets of Kadikoy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, dismantling their makeshift barricades of garbage and rubble.

There were similar protests in Ankara and reports on social media of unrest in the Mediterannean coastal cities of Antalya and Antakya, but the troubles were not on the same scale as the weeks of rioting which rocked Turkey in June and July.

Protests have rumbled on intermittently since the summer, but intensified again this week after a 22-year old man, Ahmet Atakan, died during clashes with police in Antakya, near the border with Syria, early on Tuesday.

"We are protesting the death of Ahmet. We won't stop the resistance until there's justice. The government knows we won't give up, that's why the police are here," said one protester in his early 20s in Kadikoy, declining to give his name.

Atakan died after falling from a building, but investigations continue into the circumstances of his death.

The summer protests presented one of the biggest challenges to Erdogan's rule since his Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power a decade ago, spiralling out of a demonstration in late May against plans to redevelop an Istanbul park into a broader show of defiance against his perceived authoritarianism.

The latest unrest comes just six months before local elections, the start of a voting cycle which also includes a presidential election next August - in which Erdogan is expected to run - and parliamentary polls in 2015.

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDINSIDER

SPONSORED

Most Read

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.