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Dublin: 20 °C Wednesday 12 August, 2020
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Turkey unrest: 18 incredible images from today's protests

Amnesty International has called for meaningful discussions between government and protesters.

A protester lies under the wheel of a police water cannon vehicle.
A protester lies under the wheel of a police water cannon vehicle.
Image: (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

IT STARTED WITH a peaceful protest against plans to redevelop a green space near Taksim Square in Istanbul but the anti-government feelings have swelled in Turkey, leading to almost two weeks of protests in various flash points across the country.

Today, violence was seen in both Istanbul and Ankara with riot police deploying both tear gas and water cannon against protesters.

Since the demonstrations began, four people (including one police officer) have died. It is thought that one person died because of the use of excessive force and the remaining three perished in related accidents.

Although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that he has “no more tolerance” for the demonstrations, he has agreed to meet detractors in the coming days.

Amnesty International has issued a warning of its own though, predicting an escalation of unrest if authorities do not engage in meaningful discussions with activists.

Further police action today “contradicted statements by the Governor of Istanbul”, the human rights group said in a statement.

“Intervention by the authorities should only be carried out for legitimate reasons – wanting to have a few banners taken down is simply not adequate justification.

When we met with the Governor this afternoon, he continued to insist that the police were using appropriate force in pursuit of legitimate goals. Neither of these claims is consistent with the reality on the ground.

“Intervention by the authorities should only be carried out for legitimate reasons – wanting to have a few banners taken down is simply not adequate justification.“When we met with the Governor this afternoon, he continued to insist that the police were using appropriate force in pursuit of legitimate goals. Neither of these claims is consistent with the reality on the ground.”

Lawyers arrested

Some 72 lawyers were arrested at noon today as they gathered to make a statement at a courthouse about the ongoing situation in Gezi Park.

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According to Amnesty, they were initially held at the courthouse but then removed to Vatan Street police station.

The Istanbul Medical Association revealed that a number of people were treated for injuries obtained as a result of today’s police assault on protesters. These included nine people injured by plastic bullets, several broken limbs, a number of cases of head and chest trauma and one fractured skull.

Turkey unrest: 18 incredible images from today's protests
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