Turkish protester killed in police clashes

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An undated file picture released by Turkish agency Ihlas News of Ahmet Atakan, a 22-year-old man killed in southern Turkey after fresh protests in Antakya. (Photo: AFP / Ihlas News)

Published Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A 22-year-old man was killed in southern Turkey after fresh protests over a teenager left in a coma during anti-government demonstrations in June, a local news agency reported Tuesday.

Ahmet Atakan had been taking part in a sit-in protest with about 40 other people in Antakya near the border with Syria, Hasan Akgol, a lawmaker from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told Reuters by telephone.

They were also expressing support for recent protests in the capital Ankara against two controversial building projects planned by the government, Akgol said.

Atakan died in hospital after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister during clashes between police and protesters, said the Dogan news agency.

Akgol was at the scene where Atakan died and said he had two head wounds. "His death was caused by a weapon," he said.

However, the governor's office issued a statement on its website saying that police had reported Atakan had fallen from a building to his death.

"The real issue here is that he was trying to peacefully express dissent when police, who are under the state's control, used excessive force to restrict his freedom of expression," Akgol said.

Atakan’s death is the sixth recorded since protests against the Islamic-rooted government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan began in June.

Since then, pockets of unrest have occasionally flared across the country.

Clashes also erupted in Istanbul Monday, as police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse demonstrators, who threw rocks and Molotov cocktails and erected barricades.

The demonstrators were protesting over Berkin Elvan, a 14-year-old who in June was hit by a tear gas canister in the head in Istanbul after he left his parents' house to buy some bread as violent demonstrations swept the city.

And there were calls on social networks for further demonstrations on Tuesday evening in Taksim Square, a focal point for demonstrations in Istanbul, and other neighborhoods of the city.

Protests were also planned against police violence in the Turkish capital, Ankara, where for several days university students have clashed with police over a municipal project to build a road across part of the campus of Middle East Technical University (METU).

June's protests were triggered by the proposed redevelopment of Gezi Park in Istanbul, which escalated into unrest against what is seen as Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule.

More than 8,000 were injured during the three weeks of demonstrations, according to the Turkish doctors' union, presenting Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) with its biggest challenge since it came to power in 2002.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

So you are caring for protesters now? What about the thousands that killed by Assad or the thousands that killed by Sisi heh?

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