Turkey: tear gas, water cannon against opposition march

On Republic's anniversary, Kilicdaroglu hit by tear gas

29 October, 13:44

(ANSAmed) - ANKARA, OCTOBER 29 - Turkish police on Monday threw tear gas to break up a march organized by 40 different secular opposition movements to mark the founding of the Turkish republic, affecting social democratic MP and Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in the process, Turkish news broadcaster NTV reported. In defiance of a government ban for ''security reasons'' and of massive police presence, thousands gathered in defense ''of the nation and the republic'' in the old part of Ankara, near the building that housed Turkey's first parliament, to march to the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who in 1923 founded the secular republic after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The opposition accuses Islamic nationalist Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan of harboring a ''secret plan'' to Islamize the country, destroying Ataturk's secular legacy in the founding of modern Turkey.

The police used tear gas and water cannons to try to break up the demonstration. Also on Monday, gendarmes prevented 110 buses loaded with demonstrators from other parts of the country from entering the city, Hurriyet online daily reported. (ANSAmed).

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