Turkey: clashes during an anti government rally in Ankara

Tensions at the trial of slain Gezi protester's murder

28 October, 14:36

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, OCTOBER 28 - Squabbles erupted inside and outside the Ankara courthouse today during the first hearing of the trial of a police officer over the death of Ethem Sarisuluk, a demonstrator who was killed at a protest during the Gezi Park unrest. As daily Hurriyet online reports, the court ruled that police officer A.S., who shot Sarisuluk to death in Ankara's Guvenpark on June 2, will give his testimony via an audio and visual conference system due to his posting to the southeastern city of Sanliurfa. The court also refused the demand for A.S.'s arrest.

    Sarisuluk's family as well as spectators at the court room protested the court ruling with applause. Some family members shouted "We want justice," and "Shame on you," after the announcement of the ruling.

    Hundreds of demonstrators wearing Sarisuluk's masks gathered in front of the Ankara courthouse carrying banners that read "Ethem Sarisuluk is immortal." Tensions erupted outside the courthouse when the court ruling was heard. The police used a substantial amount of water cannons and pepper gas to disperse the crowd when some protestors managed to break glass windows surrounding the courthouse. Police dispersed another group of protestors with pepper spray and water cannons when they attempted to block traffic passing by the front of the courthouse on Ataturk Boulevard. Some protestors who were slightly injured during the police intervention were taken to the hospital by ambulance. The pepper spray was so intense, that it had even affected staff and visitors inside the courthouse building. (ANSAmed).

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