ISTANBUL: Turkish police used water cannon and tear gas late Thursday to break up fresh anti-government protests in Istanbul, amid anger over the death of a demonstrator earlier in the week. Officers faced 2,000-3,000 angry protesters on a second consecutive day of demonstrations in the Kadikoy district, an opposition stronghold. The police fired tear gas, water cannon and plastic pellets to break up the crowd as it approached the local offices of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The incidents lasted several hours, with many protesters arrested, an AFP photographer said.
There were media reports of similar incidents pitting police against demonstrators in the capital Ankara and in the southern city of Antakya, where 22-year-old Ahmet Atakan died during a protest on Monday.
Atakan’s death was the sixth recorded in protests since demonstrations against the government of Erdogan, seen as increasingly authoritarian, began in June.
His family said he had been killed by a missile fired by police — said to be a gas canister — a version of events denied by Interior Minister Muammer Guler.
He has accused protesters of using the young man’s death to “spread chaos”.
Local officials said Atakan died after falling from a rooftop where he had been throwing stones at police.
Similar clashes with police broke out in Istanbul and elsewhere on Wednesday night during anti-government protests across Turkey.