Protest staged in Istanbul to denounce government over graft allegations
People hold up banners as they march during a protest against corruption in the Kadıköy district on Istanbul's Asian side, Dec. 25. AFP photoHundreds gathered in Istanbul’s Kadıköy district Dec. 25 to protest the government over the graft allegations implicating four cabinet ministers and high-level bureaucrats.
The protest was organized by the Yoğurtçu Park forum, which was created at the height of the Gezi protests after the police evacuated the iconic park in the Taksim area, which became the heart of the anti-government demonstrations between May and July.
Protesters marched in the district, calling on the government to step down. The end of the demonstration was marred by a police crackdown on a group of protesters who wanted to march to the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) district building.
Police resorted to tear gas and water cannons in scenes that were reminiscent of the three-days of protests in Kadıköy on September, which were responded to with a muscled intervention.
The police also used rubber bullets, witnesses said according to news reports. Reports also said that over 40 protesters were detained by the police.
The protest was staged hours after the interior, economy and environment ministers, who were facing a bribery and corruption probe, resigned over the allegations.
Twenty-four people have been arrested under the corruption investigation that hit Turkey last week, including the sons of former Interior Minister Muammer Güler and former Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan. Former Environment Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar’s son was released pending trial.