Turkey police fire tear gas at anti-government demonstrators
Story Code : 270261
On the third day of anti-government demonstrations, thousands of people gathered near Erdogan's office in the district of Besiktas in Istanbul on Sunday and clashed with riot police who responded with tear gas.
Thousands more marched on Erdogan's office in Ankara. Shouting "Dictator, resign!" and "We will resist until we win," the demonstrators expressed their discontent with the government and how it treats its citizens.
Special police forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.
There were similar clashes in Izmir and Adana, Turkey's third and fourth biggest cities.
On Saturday, around 100,000 demonstrators gathered in Taksim Square in Istanbul, demanded that Erdogan step down and called the government "fascist."
Istanbul has been the scene of anti-government protests since Friday after security forces attacked a peaceful four-day sit-in by environmental activists against the demolition of Gezi Park at Taksim Square.
The tough police response to park protesters sparked mass anti-government demonstrations in nearly 50 other cities. The protesters condemned the Turkish government as a "fascist government" and called Erdogan a new "Sultan."
Turkey Interior Minister Muammer Guler said on Sunday that more than 1,700 people had been arrested in the unrest nationwide, adding that 58 civilians and 115 security officers had also been injured in the protests. Rights groups, however, have put the number of injured in the hundreds.
Amnesty International has criticized Turkey's police use of excessive force against the demonstrators, describing it "disgraceful."
According to the group, at least two people have been killed and more than a thousand others injured in Istanbul alone. It also said that some protesters have been left blinded by the massive quantities of tear gas used by the police.