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Turkish police fire teargas against protesters on anniversary of mass demos

Published on Jun 1, 2014 12:24 AM

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of people in Istanbul and Ankara Saturday as demonstrations marking a year since deadly anti-government protests erupted in fresh violence.  

Police clashed with protesters near Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, scene of last year’s unrest that claimed eight lives and left thousands injured, an AFP reporter on the ground said.  “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance,” the demonstrators shouted.  

Riot police also deployed tear gas and water cannon to disperse some 1,000 people in the capital Ankara, who hurled fireworks.  In the run-up to the anniversary, Turkey’s prime minister had warned authorities would do “whatever is necessary” to curb protest.  

“I am calling on all my people. Do not be deceived. This is not an environmentalist campaign. There is no sincerity here,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of supporters at an Istanbul rally.  “If you go there, our security forces have received clear-cut instructions and will do whatever is necessary from A to Z,” said the premier.  “You will not be able to take to (Taksim) like you did last year because you are obliged to abide by the laws... If you do not, the state will do whatever is necessary for its security,” he warned.

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