ISTANBUL Turkish riot police stormed an Istanbul park at the heart of two weeks of protest against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, firing tear gas and water cannon and sending hundreds scurrying into surrounding streets.Lines of police backed by armoured vehicles sealed off Taksim Square in the centre of the city as officers stormed the adjoining Gezi Park, where protesters had been living in a ramshackle tent camp.Erdogan had warned hours earlier that security forces would clear...
A hundred or so mourners gathered on April 24 beneath heavy clouds in an Istanbul cemetery at the grave of a 25-year-old soldier, murdered exactly six years ago, on the anniversary of the World War I massacre of Armenians. Sevag Balıkcı, an ethnic Armenian, was shot to death by a fellow conscript in the Turkish army on the day that Armenians mark as genocide remembrance day. His family believes his killing was a hate crime. “Sevag was the last victim of the genocide,” said his mother, Ani Balıkcı.
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s most outspoken opponent of a referendum that promises to transform this NATO ally is sitting out the campaign behind bars. Selahattin Demirtas, an ethnic Kurd who had rallied a national coalition with his pledge to thwart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bid for vast new powers, has been largely silenced, arrested in November 2016 for suspected ties to militants. A dozen more lawmakers from his Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) are also behind bars.