Turkey protests: Police pepper spray after Women’s Day demonstration in Istanbul

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Turkish riot police fired pepper spray to disperse a group of protesters pushing back against a police line on Wednesday as a rally to mark International Women’s Day drew to a close in central Istanbul.

Women whistled and chanted, “We will not be silent, we will not be afraid, we will not bow down,” as they pushed the wings of the riot police, inciting the tussles with the police, and the rest of the population of about 2,000 scattered.

Protesters in Istanbul shout slogans at a rally on Wednesday, where demonstrators called their movement a
Turkish police stand behind a protester in Istanbul, seen earlier this week, during a demonstration where parts of the population called for the government to resign before a general election.

The police had prevented the crowd from holding a march through the city center after the local authorities issued a statement saying that it would not allow marches, protests or press reports. Local metro stations were closed in the early afternoon.

“The government is resigning,” said the crowd during the protest. “We are angry, we mourn, we are in a women’s revolution,” said a large banner held up in front of the crowd.

The event was held just over two months before the elections which are expected to represent the biggest electoral challenge to President Tayyip Erdogan ever. It was also just over a month after devastating earthquakes in southern Turkey that killed more than 52,000 people.

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