In photos: Turkish police continue controversial use of tear gas
A policeman firing a tear gas canister in Okmeydanı, Istanbul, on March 11. DHA photoPolice officers in Turkey have been photographed shooting tear gas in an “unlawful” fashion during March 11 commemorations of the anniversary of the death of Berkin Elvan, who was killed by a tear gas canister during the Gezi Park protests.
Turkish police detained several people who gathered to commemorate Gezi protest victim Elvan in Istanbul and Ankara on March 11, the first anniversary of his death.
Elvan, 15, was shot in the head by a tear gas canister during a police crackdown on protesters in Istanbul in June 2013.
Abdullah Cömert, another Gezi victim, died in similar circumstances, while several other protesters were blinded by tear gas canisters.
The police are only allowed to shoot tear gas canisters at 45 degrees to avoid potentially lethal injuries. One month after the initial Gezi Park protests, Human Rights Watch called on Turkey to “end the incorrect, unlawful use of teargas.”
Here is a collection of photos from the March 11 demonstrations across Turkey, which triggered a debate on social media with one side slamming officers for their actions and another one claiming that the police action was justified because some protesters were armed with homemade explosives:
A plainclothes policeman approaches a civilian during the demonstration in Okmeydanı, Istanbul, on March 11. Cihan photo
In Ankara, police water cannon were also observed using paint, which is currently not legally allowed. An article in Turkey's controversial domestic security bill, currently being debated in parliament, lays the legal ground for the use of the substance to mark demonstrators.