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Turkey: Protesters gather to denounce demonstrator’s death for the third day in Istanbul

13th Sep 2013

Istanbul, (Hurriyet Daily): Police once again resorted to tear gas and water cannons against protesters denouncing the death of a demonstrator in Antakya for a third day on Sept. 12.

Fresh demonstrations were staged in Istanbul’s Asian shores of Kadıköy, which witnessed a severe crackdown a day earlier.

Police also intervened in demonstrations in the Asian suburb of Sarıgazı and in the European suburb of Gazi Mahallesi.   In Kadıköy, protesters gathered around 9 p.m. at the junction of the pedestrian Bahariye Avenue and the main artery of the neighborhood leading to the docks. They chanted slogans for Ahmet Atakan and the other five demonstrators that dead since the start of the Gezi protests late may.

22-year-old Atakan died on Sept. 10 in a demonstration supporting students in Ankara protesting against the construction of a road through the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ).

Conflicting reports over the circumstances of Atakan’s death have also raised tensions. Witnesses and activists claimed that Atakan was struck in the head by a tear gas canister while police said he had fallen from a building.

Police once again fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse the group and chased protesters into the side streets. Some of the protesters have been detained, daily Hürriyet reported.

Social media users said many protesters were injured during the police intervention.   In Gazi Mahallesi, protesters formed barricades with trash cans, setting them on fire. Daily Hürriyet also reported claims that unidentified people fired shots into the air in alleys and side streets of the sensitive neighborhood.

Police also intervened against protesters in Ankara’s Tuzluçayır neighborhood, where demonstrations were ongoing since the dispute over the road construction in ODTÜ.

Atakan is the sixth protester that has been killed in anti-government protests in Turkey this summer, after the deaths of Abdullah Cömert (22), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20) and Medeni Yıldırım (18). Police officer Mustafa Sarı also died after falling from a bridge while pursuing fleeing protesters in Adana.

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