Turkish police have shot tear gas at protesters, detaining more than 100 on the anniversary of the 2013 Gezi Park demonstrations.
Some 25,000 officers were dispatched to quash the protest. Several hundred people had been assembling on streets leading to Taksim Square when police fired tear gas into the crowd, which promptly dispersed, RT reported on Saturday.
In total, around 120 have been arrested, Istanbul Police Chief Selami Altinok said late Saturday, Anadolu news agency reported. He added that four police were wounded.
According to the Contemporary Lawyers Association at least 145 people have been detained in Istanbul.
A further 17 were arrested in Ankara, Hurriyet newspaper reported. Turkish left-leaning daily, Evrensel Gazetesi, reported that a helicopter was used to disperse tear gas in Ankara.
While the total number of casualties remains unknown, 14 were reported injured, according to Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD).
Several people were also injured when water canon was deployed, hitting a street vendor’s wagon and shattering its glass, reported Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News.
Mass demonstrations swept through Istanbul in 2013, many of which were brutally suppressed. Eleven fatalities and more than 8,000 injuries were reported in the violence and subsequent protests that ensued. It was Turkey’s biggest anti-government movement in decades.
Despite recent unrest, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan will remain in his post until 2023, and will have more powers granted to his office through constitutional change, a senior party official said on Saturday.
Istanbul stepped up its police presence to cope with further demonstrations planned for 7 p.m. local time on Saturday. Fifty water cannon trucks and armored vehicles have been dispatched to the area.
Erdogan has stated that police would do anything within their power to suppress mass action. “Our security forces have clear orders. They will do whatever is necessary from A to Z,” the prime minister said at the ceremony.
On Saturday, some protesters put on t-shirts bearing the images of people killed in 2013.