Police used water cannon and pepper spray to disperse a crowd of demonstrators outside a prison complex on the edge of Istanbul where the mass trial of hundreds of people accused of scheming to topple the elected Turkish government was postponed.
Over a thousand protesters, including many relatives of the accused as well as army supporters, tried to breach the security cordon outside the court compound but were repelled by police, as the trial was again postponed until 11th March. It had already been postponed since December. Some of the demonstrators were injured in the scuffle.
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Many of the protesters were supporters of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). A CHP deputy, Lihan Cihaner called for restraint and said that the police were trying to pit the protesters against the military.
“There are old people here, people who cannot even stand up, they surrounded up with pepper gas and soldiers. They want to pit us against the military; they want to portray us as violent people. Let’s not fall into this trap,” Cihancer said.