Ankara faces citywide police intervention

Ankara faces citywide police intervention

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Ankara faces citywide police intervention

Protesters escape from a water cannon as they clash with police during an anti-government demonstration in Ankara on June 16, 2013. AFP photo

As of 11:50 p.m., the police intervened in Kuğulu Park using water cannons and tear gas.

The police intervened in the protests gathered on Tunalı Hilmi Avenue and Tunus Avenue in the Turkish capital Ankara, while main hotspot Kuğulu Park was calm as of 10:30 p.m.

Dispersing into the side streets, protesters tried to escape from the tear gas attack to take shelter in nearby stores.

The clashes had started in the early hours in Ankara, with around 70 people reported to have been detained over the course of the day, according to daily Hürriyet. The central Kızılay Square also saw a considerable police intervention with intense tear gas in the evening hours.

As of 1.45 p.m., following three separate interventions with water cannons and pepper gas, the police toughened the crackdown on protesters near Kızılay Square. The police have begun to use water cannons and tear gas against journalists and people around the journalists as well. The Mass Incident Intervention Vehicles (TOMA) and other armored vehicles have reportedly been carrying out dangerous driving maneuvers, ignoring traffic safety and putting the lives of people in the square in danger.

Earlier in the day, a funeral convoy carrying Ethem Sarısülük, the latest victim of the Gezi Park demonstrations, that wanted to move to Kızılay from the Batıkent district was stopped by riot police and gendarmerie units as of noon. Sarısülük was then transferred to his hometown, the Anatolian province of Çorum, and was there laid to rest.

A TOMA and many riot police officers and gendarmerie forces were present at the Batıkent junction, where the funeral convoy was stopped at 11:00 a.m.

The planned gathering at Kızılay aimed to commemorate Sarısülük at the exact place where he was allegedly shot by a police officer, with people wishing to leave red carnations at the site.

In Kızılay, the huge crowd was waiting for the convoy with carnations in their hands and shouting slogans against the government. Nonetheless, the police intervened in the crowd at the square with TOMAs and other vehicles for shooting pressurized water and tear gas as of 12:30 p.m.

On side streets, protesters and the police also continued the clashes.