Two dead in renewed Turkish protests

Published March 13th, 2014 - 10:22 GMT

Clashes have erupted between anti-government protestors and riot police in several cities in Turkey, killing two people, including a police officer.

On Wednesday, one protester died of head injuries during protests in Istanbul as Turkish riot police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse thousands of demonstrators.

The protesters had gathered in central part of the city for the funeral of a 15-year old boy who had died from his injuries during an anti-government protest in 2013.

A police officer was also reported dead during the Wednesday protests after suffering a heart-stroke while confronting demonstrators in the eastern town of Tunceli, according to local media outlets.

Similar demonstrations were also held in the capital Ankara and the city of Izmir.

Escorting the coffin of the teenage victim, Berkin Elvand, through the streets of Istanbul, protesters carrying portraits of him with red carnations chanted, “Berkin Elvand, a sapling just 15 years old.”

Elvand went in a coma after he was hit by a tear-gas canister.

The latest death brings to ten the number of people killed in Turkey during protest rallies since last June.

On May 31, 2013, Turkish police broke up a sit-in held at Istanbul's Taksim Square against a proposal to demolish Gezi Park.

The violence turned into nationwide demonstrations against the ruling Justice and Development Party and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with police using water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets against the demonstrators.

The protests saw an estimated 2.5 million people take to the streets across Turkey over three weeks to demand Erdogan's resignation. More than 8,000 people were injured in the demonstrations, according to medics.

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