Tear Gas Used by Turkish Police on Protesters

Police in Turkey had to use tear gas in order to disperse groups of demonstrators in Ankara and Istanbul. The protests were on the first anniversary of the protests against the government that turned deadly.

Over 25,000 police were called upon to surround and block off Taksim Square in Istanbul. The square was the epicenter of the rallies in 2013.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey urged youths earlier not to join the protests on Saturday. Last year, the protest held against Gezi Park redevelopment plans in Istanbul became deadly after a response by police was heavy handed.

Many were killed during the unrest while thousands were injured.

A woman who was 64 fell into a coma from inhaling the tear gas in December and died this past Friday.

Clashes erupted in Istanbul Saturday after the protesters marched to Taksim Square defying the ban by the government on gatherings in the square.

A water cannon, armored vehicles and riot police were deployed to block any access to Taksim Square as well as nearby Gezi Park. Police took a number of protesters into custody.

Security forces fired tear gas at the demonstrators in Ankara, while at the same time breaking up protests on Adana, a city in southern Turkey.

Istanbul officers early Saturday kicked and then detained a reporter from CNN during a live broadcast from the Square.

In a post on Twitter, Ivan Watson said he and the film crew were let go after about 30 minutes.

The main group behind last year’s protests in Gezi Park called for the one-year anniversary.

However, Prime Minister Erdogan warned the young people in Turkey not to take part saying a year later people, whom included artists, have called for demonstrations but you the youth in Turkey will not respond to that call.

Recently there have been clashes between police and protesters, with two men dying during the demonstrations over a disaster in a mine that took the lives of over 300.

In March, anger flared with news that a 15 year old who was in a coma for a year after being hit with a canister of tear gas, had died.

In May of 2013, protesters surprised the government by taking control of Taksim Square as well as Gezi Park.

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