Four arrested in Turkey anti-government protests: Media

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkish police have fired tear gas and used water cannons to disperse hundreds of anti-government protesters in the capital Ankara, leading to four arrests, local media and witnesses said Friday.

Police stepped in to break up the protest late Thursday in the Dikmen residential area of the capital, scene of clashes between demonstrators and police for the past few weeks.

"Several hundred people had gathered and booed the government and they did not want to leave until late in the night," a protester told AFP.

The protesters had erected barricades blocking traffic and police came to disperse the crowd, NTV television station reported, adding that four people had been arrested.

Protests initially sparked by a brutal police action against a local conservation battle to save Istanbul's Gezi Park snowballed into nationwide demonstrations against the Islamic-rooted government, leaving four dead and nearly 8,000 injured.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has been widely criticised for its handling of the crisis, with the United States and other Western allies condemning the use of excessive police force against protesters.

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