Police fire tear gas, water cannon at fresh ODTÜ protest
ANKARA – Doğan News Agency
A small fire broke out in a leafy area of the campus during the incident, reportedly due to a tear gas canister fired by police, which was quickly doused. DHA photoPolice at Ankara’s Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) have once again resorted to force to crack down on a protest at the school, which has been the site of repeated demonstrations over controversial road construction through the campus.
A group of 200 people gathered near the entrance of the campus where the construction of the road project threatens to destroy 3,000 trees. The group also protested against the police raids on Istanbul’s Gülsuyu neighborhood where 21-year-old protester Hasan Ferit Gedik was killed during a fight between leftist groups and drug dealers on Sept. 30.
Police resorted to water cannon trucks (TOMAs) and tear gas to disperse the group, while some of the demonstrators responded by throwing stones, Doğan news agency reported.
A small fire broke out in a leafy area of the campus during the incident, reportedly due to a tear gas canister fired by police, which was quickly doused.
Children receiving swimming classes at the campus’s pool were also affected by the intense tear gas.
Protests against the road project have become common since Sept. 6.
The project envisages the construction of two roads on ODTÜ land. One of the roads, the smaller one, will still be conducted as planned, while the second will be replaced by a tunnel to minimize the environmental damage.
The police’s repeated crackdowns on the protests with water cannon and tear gas stirred protests in solidarity across the country throughout the month of September.