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Turkish riot police fire tear gas at hundreds of Ankara protesters: AFP

Published on Jun 1, 2014 10:29 PM
 

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish police on Sunday fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of protesters in Ankara a day after violent clashes on the anniversary of last year's turmoil.

The police stepped in to disperse around 500 people from Ankara's downtown Kizilay Square who wanted to stage a demo at the site where a 26-year-old protester was shot and killed by police the same day last year, an AFP photographer said.

Mr Ethem Sarisuluk was one of at least eight people killed in clashes in June 2013 after police violently cracked down on a peaceful protest to save a central Istanbul park from redevelopment.

“Ethem’s murderer is the AKP police,” protesters shouted in Ankara, referring to the ruling Justice and Development Party. “This is only the beginning. We will keep on fighting”.

The Sarisuluk family laid flowers at the site where Mr Ethem was killed.

Sunday’s protests followed violent clashes between police and protesters in Istanbul and Ankara marking the first anniversary of what have become known as the Gezi Park protests.

The police clashed with protesters in Istanbul Saturday, firing tear gas and water cannon at people clustered on side streets, defying a government ban on demonstrations on the iconic Taksim Square – the epicentre of last year’s turmoil.

In Ankara, the police also clashed with protesters hurling fireworks and responded with water cannon and tear gas.

One year on, the political tensions stemming from the Gezi revolt continue to simmer despite a decisive ruling party victory in March 30 local elections that has bolstered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ambitions to stand for president in August.

Protesters react as Turkish riot police fires tear gas and water cannon at them in Ankara on May 31, 2014, as they mark the first anniversary of last year's anti-government demonstrations. -- PHOTO: AFP 

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