Protesters gather to denounce demonstrator’s death for straight third day in Istanbul
Protestors wait for police officers behind their barricade on Sept 12, at Kadiköy in Istanbul. AFP photo
Police once again resorted to tear gas and water cannon against protesters denouncing the death of a demonstrator in Antakya for a third day on Sept. 12.
Fresh demonstrations were staged in Istanbul's Anatolian-side district of Kadıköy, which witnessed a severe crackdown a day earlier. Police also intervened in demonstrations in the Asian suburb of Sarıgazi and in the European suburb of Gazi.
In Kadıköy, protesters gathered around 9 p.m. at the junction of the pedestrian Bahariye Avenue and the main artery of the neighborhood leading to the docks. They chanted slogans for Ahmet Atakan, who was killed early Sept. 10, and the other five demonstrators that have died since the start of the Gezi protests in late May.
Atakan, 22, died in a demonstration supporting students in Ankara protesting against the construction of a road through Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ).
Conflicting reports over the circumstances of Atakan’s death have also raised tensions. Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was struck in the head by a tear gas canister while police said he had fallen from a building.
Police once again fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse the group and chased protesters into the side streets. Some of the protesters have been detained, daily Hürriyet reported.
Social media users said many protesters were injured during the police intervention.
In Gazi, protesters formed barricades with trash cans, setting them on fire. Daily Hürriyet also reported claims that unidentified people fired shots into the air in alleys and side streets of the sensitive neighborhood, which has a center of anti-government protest for decades.
Police also intervened against protesters in Ankara’s Tuzluçayır neighborhood, where demonstrations are continuing over the dispute over the road construction in ODTÜ.
Atakan is the sixth protester to be killed in anti-government protests in Turkey this summer, after the deaths of Abdullah Cömert (22), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20) and Medeni Yıldırım (18). Police officer Mustafa Sarı also died after falling from a bridge while pursuing fleeing protesters in Adana.