Demonstrator's death stirs protests in Turkey

Dissident groups call for demonstrations after death of 22-year-old man in clashes with police in country's southeast.

    Tensions remain high in Hatay, a province of mixed ethnicities and religions that borders Syria [EPA]
    Tensions remain high in Hatay, a province of mixed ethnicities and religions that borders Syria [EPA]

    Anti-government protesters in Turkey have called for mass demonstrations after a Turkish protester died in a protest in the southeastern province of Hatay.

    Ahmet Atakan, 22, died on Tuesday in a protest organised to show solidarity with students opposed to the construction of a road through a university in Ankara, the capital, but the cause of his death was in dispute.

    Taksim Solidarity Platform, an umbrella group of Turkish dissidents, called for a gathering in Istanbul's Taksim Square to mark the death of Atakan.

    Several anti-government platforms also called for nationwide demonstrations in various cities including Ankara and Antakya.

    Hasan Akgol, a MP from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told Reuters news agency by telephone that the protester's death caused by a weapon and he had two head wounds.

    However, the Hatay governor's office issued a statement on its website saying that police had reported Atakan had fallen from a building to his death.

    Turkish media said protesters had thrown stones from rooftops at police vans passing on the street below.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government has faced intermittent protests since late May, when a small environmental effort to stop the demolition of an Istanbul park expanded into the country's fiercest protests in decades.

    The demonstrations have largely cooled but occasional protests continue in Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay.

    Tensions remain high in Hatay, a province of mixed ethnicities and religions that borders Syria, especially in recent weeks as the UN contemplates strikes against President Bashar al-Assad.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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