Istanbul, Dec 23 (IANS/EFE) Thousands of people paralysed several neighbourhoods Sunday here in a demonstration against the urban corruption scandal in which children of Turkish ministers, public officials, and several businessmen are implicated, media reports said.
Police used water cannons and tear gas to break up groups of demonstrators. But finally the situation calmed down and the protest march continued normally and peacefully.
Members of the groups who convened the demonstration — unions, professionals schools, feminist groups and human rights groups — raised slogans used during the Gezi protests last summer. They criticised new urban macro-projects such as Istanbul’s third airport, which they believe will only be to the advantage of construction companies.
The accusations of corruption, which in recent days have resulted in 24 people being taken into custody, including children of the economy and interior ministers, paint a scenario in which politicians and construction company chiefs share the profits in a process of out-of-control urban development.
The first reaction of the Turkish government to the scandal was to fire or replace the police chiefs who began the investigation and so far 25 top police officials in Istanbul have lost their jobs, the daily HÃ¼rriyet reported.