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LOCAL >Turkey to produce local tear gas out of fears of international embargo

ANKARA - Hürriyet

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Due to the consumption of the stocks during the Gezi incidents, the Police Department had to make an unplanned purchase of 150,000 gas bomb cartages from Brazil and the United Kingdom in June. Hürriyet photo

Due to the consumption of the stocks during the Gezi incidents, the Police Department had to make an unplanned purchase of 150,000 gas bomb cartages from Brazil and the United Kingdom in June. Hürriyet photo

International calls to suspend tear gas shipments to Turkey following police brutality during the Gezi Park protests could soon prod the country into producing its own tear gas domestically, according to officials.

The Police Department, which recently received a report from the country’s science watchdog TÜBİTAK about the possibility of domestically producing the crowd control mechanism, is already preparing to begin talks with companies next year.

After receiving the green light on production with the report, the department has kicked off tender preparations to decide the company that will undertake the production of “national tear gas.”

The secret report, which was prepared on the request of Police Department, includes the results of TÜBİTAK’s opinions and examinations on production and other expenses.

In an effort to suppress country-wide protests that began in Taksim’s Gezi Park in late May, police used about two years of stocks in just a few weeks.

Before the Gezi incidents that began at the last days of May, the directorate had enough stocks to last until 2015.

Due to the consumption of the stocks, the Police Department had to make an unplanned purchase of 150,000 gas bomb cartages from Brazil and the United Kingdom in June.

Turkey’s decision to produce its own tear gas came two weeks after Amnesty International’s call on countries providing Turkish police with anti-riot equipment, including tear gas and armored vehicles, to suspend all shipments on Sept. 12.

“The Turkish police’s return to the abusive use of force in response to demonstrations underscores the need for all countries to suspend shipments of tear gas and other riot control projectile equipment and armored policing vehicles to Turkey, until steps are taken to prevent such deaths and injuries,” said Amnesty International’s Turkey researcher, Andrew Gardner.

Countries such as the United States, Israel, Britain, China, Brazil, India, Belgium and South Korea are among those who have procured such materials, the association said.

September/29/2013

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