Riot police resort to tear gas to quell 'justice marchers' hoping to make statement at Gezi Park
ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
Peace and Democracy (BDP) deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü (C) and Islamic scholar Ali İhsan Eliaçık had also joined the marchers prior to the police crackdown. DHA photo
Riot police in Istanbul intervened once more against a demonstration, using tear gas to disperse a small group of protesters including a Peace and Democracy (BDP) deputy and an Islamic scholar, who had gathered to march to Gezi Park on Aug. 20.
A group including three young protesters who had traveled to Istanbul on foot from the southern province of Antalya in a "justice march" had gathered near the İnönü Stadium to walk to Gezi Park, where they had intended to issue a press statement.
The marchers had previously visited Ankara and Eskişehir to leave carnations at the spots where Ethem Sarısülük and Ali İsmail Korkmaz were killed. Sarısülük died after he was shot by a police officer during the early days of the protests, while Korkmaz succumbed to his wounds after he was beaten by a group of plainclothes baton-wielding men.
Their march started in Antalya on July 18, and was due to finish at Gezi Park, the symbolic heart of the anti-government protests that hit Turkey through the summer.
BDP Mersin deputy Ertuğrul Kürkçü and Ali İhsan Eliaçık, the public face of the Anti-Capitalist Muslims group, which became a key player in the Gezi protests, also joined the group.
After issuing warnings, riot police officers physically blocked the protesters, who sat on the floor refusing to leave. One demonstrator had an epileptic attack after tear gas was fired by the police and was immediately taken to hospital. No detentions were reported in the incident.