Tear gas, rubber bullets used against protesters in Istanbul

Istanbul, Dec 28: More than 1,000 policemen dispersed anti-government protesters with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon in Istanbul’s central Taksim square and nearby streets Friday night.

Some 10,000 people staged protests against a corruption scandal in the capital of Turkey, demanding Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government to step down, Xinhua reported.

This is the third large scale protest within a week in the city.

Besides Istanbul, thousands of people in Turkey’s other cities, including Ankara, Izmir, Mersin and Antakya also took to the streets demanding the resignation of the government.

Police tried to disperse the crowd and prevent them from marching toward the symbolic Taksim square while riot police cordoned off the square and closed the nearby Gezi Park.

Some of the nearby ports have also been closed to prevent more protesters from joining the Taksim protest.

Taksim Platform, the biggest civil society organisation behind the resistance movement of the Gezi Park protests in June, called on people to take to the streets Friday and come to Taksim.

Turkey was rocked by the country’s largest ever bribery investigation Dec 17. The sons of four cabinet members were detained as part of the probe and a huge amount of money was seized by authorities in their houses.

Three ministers involved in the graft probe resigned. Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan then reshuffled his cabinet after his meeting with President Abdullah Gul.

IANS