Ankara police disperse protesters with tear gas as Turkish officials say ‘process is under control’

Turkish demonstrators attack a police water cannon truck June 8, 2013, intervening to clear thousands of protesters gathering on Kizilay square in Ankara (AFP Photo / Marco Longari) Turkish demonstrators attack a police water cannon truck June 8, 2013, intervening to clear thousands of protesters gathering on Kizilay square in Ankara (AFP Photo / Marco Longari)

Police have deployed tear gas and water cannons to quell more than 10,000 protesters that gathered in downtown Ankara. This comes as officials claim the protests are under control and the process is “becoming normalized and in line with common sense.”

The rally in the Turkish capital started peacefully in the early hours of the morning, reports the Hurriyet Daily. As the protesters arrived at the Kizilay Square in late afternoon, police there made calls to disperse in order to not block car traffic.

The police then started “a sudden and unexpected intervention” as the protesters ran to the narrow streets surrounding the square.

According to witness reports on twitter police were targeting and detaining “random” youth in the crowd. Police reportedly made at least three arrests.

Authorities deployed over 4,000 riot police to quell the unrest, witnesses claim.

Meanwhile in Istanbul a massive crowd packed the whole of Taksim Square. Protesters in the epicenter of the countrywide anti-government movement were chanting and setting off flares while the police kept their distance from the rally.

Even the fans from rival football teams Fenerbahce, Besiktas and Galatasaray united in the square, AFP reports.

On Saturday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held an urgent meeting with the top officials from the ruling AKP party and parliamentary Speaker Cemil Cicek.

Following the meeting, Cicek said the mass protests that have been gripping the country are now “under control” and the process “is becoming normalized and increasingly in line with common sense”.

“We are ready to listen to all reasonable, legal and democratic demands,” he added.

image by @gokhangercekimage by @gokhangercek

DETAILS TO FOLLOW

Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in central Ankara June 8, 2013 (Reuters / Umit Bektas)Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in central Ankara June 8, 2013 (Reuters / Umit Bektas)

nti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in central Ankara June 8, 2013 (Reuters / Umit Bektas)
Anti-government protesters shout slogans during a demonstration in central Ankara June 8, 2013 (Reuters / Umit Bektas)

Source: RT

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