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Tens of thousands flock to Turkey protest teen's funeral

Published on Mar 12, 2014 6:21 PM
 

ISTANBUL (REUTERS) – Tens of thousands of mourners, many chanting anti-government slogans, gathered in central Istanbul on Wednesday for the funeral of a teenager wounded in street protests last summer whose death has sparked renewed unrest across Turkey.

Riot police fired water cannon and tear gas at protests in several cities after Berkin Elvan’s death on Tuesday, adding to pre-election worries for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as he battles a corruption scandal that has become one of the biggest challenges of his decade in power.

Crowds chanting “Tayyip! Killer!” and “Everywhere is Berkin, everywhere is resistance” held up photos of Elvan outside a“cemevi”, an Alevi place of worship, in Istanbul’s working class Okmeydani district, from where his coffin, draped in red and covered in flowers, was carried through the streets for burial.

The ceremony was broadcast live on major television news channels, some of which were criticised for their scant coverage of last June’s unrest.

 
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