Police cracks down on Soma protests in Istanbul and Ankara

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Turkish police put down protests in Istanbul and in Ankara where large crowds gathered May 14 to denounce the Soma mine disaster that claimed at least 245 lives.

Police resorted to tear gas and water cannon to disperse a group of protesters on Istanbul’s central İstiklal Avenue. Some people attending to the protests have been arrested, social media reports claimed.

In Ankara, around 800 students had gathered inside the campus of the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) to march to the Energy Ministry.

In Ankara, police fired tear gas and used water cannons to prevent a group of students gathered within the campus of the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) from marching to the Energy Ministry in Ankara.

According to reports, police taunted the protesters from megaphones during the intervention. “You should feel proud of what you are doing when a national mourning has been declared,” police officers reportedly said. Three days of mourning had been announced earlier on May 14 in memory of the victims.

Protesters who gathered later in the afternoon in the city’s central Kızılay neighborhood also faced a police crackdown. Some of the protesters made barricades on streets and avenues connecting to the Atatürk Boulevard at the center of Turkey’s capital.

Meanwhile, a number of unions and organizations have made several calls for protests for the coming days. Unions, including the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) and the Chamber of Architects and Engineers’ (TMMOB) have called for a work stoppage with three minutes of silence at 9 am on May 15. In joint statements, the groups also asked their members to wear black clothes in memory of the victims.

Protests had started in the first hours of the mourning as a group of youths held a protest in front of the operator company’s headquarters in Istanbul, writing “Murderers” on its wall.

The group also staged a sit-in protest in the garden of the Soma Coal Mining Company, holding placards that read “This building rises out of the blood of the workers” and “They didn’t die beautifully. This is murder, not fate.”

Separately, some 10-15 people lay on the floor of the Istanbul metro at Taksim station to represent the deaths at the mine.

Other protests have been planned around the country during the day and into the evening.
Turkish police put down protests in Istanbul and in Ankara May 14, as large crowds in both cities gathered to denounce the Soma mine disaster that claimed at least 245 lives.

Police resorted to tear gas and water cannon to disperse a group of protesters on Istanbul’s central İstiklal Avenue. Some people attending to the protests have been arrested, social media reports claimed.

In Ankara, around 800 students had gathered inside the campus of the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) to march to the Energy Ministry.

In Ankara, police fired tear gas and used water cannons to prevent a group of students gathered within the campus of the Middle Eastern Technical University (ODTÜ) from marching to the Energy Ministry in Ankara.

According to reports, police taunted the protesters from megaphones during the intervention. “You should feel proud of what you are doing when a national mourning has been declared,” police officers reportedly said. Three days of mourning had been announced earlier on May 14 in memory of the victims.

Protesters who gathered later in the afternoon in the city’s central Kızılay neighborhood also faced a police crackdown. Some of the protesters made barricades on streets and avenues connecting to the Atatürk Boulevard at the center of Turkey’s capital.

Meanwhile, a number of unions and organizations have made several calls for protests for the coming days. Unions, including the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK) and the Chamber of Architects and Engineers’ (TMMOB) have called for a work stoppage with three minutes of silence at 9 am on May 15. In joint statements, the groups also asked their members to wear black clothes in memory of the victims.

Protests had started in the first hours of the mourning as a group of youths held a protest in front of the operator company’s headquarters in Istanbul, writing “Murderers” on its wall.

The group also staged a sit-in protest in the garden of the Soma Coal Mining Company, holding placards that read “This building rises out of the blood of the workers” and “They didn’t die beautifully. This is murder, not fate.”

Separately, some 10-15 people lay on the floor of the Istanbul metro at Taksim station to represent the deaths at the mine.

Other protests have been planned around the country during the day and into the evening.

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