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Protesters clash with police outside Turkish conspiracy trial

5 years ago120 views

reuters

Reuters

ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION

STORY: Thousands of Turkish secularists protested angrily outside a court near Istanbul on Thursday (December 13) against the handling of a trial of nearly 300 people charged with attempting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government.

Security forces wielded batons and fired pepper spray to keep crowds behind barricades in front of the courthouse at the sprawling Silivri prison complex, where dozens of the defendants have been jailed for much of the four-year-old trial.

"Turkey is secular and will remain secular," "The AKP will have to answer to the people," "Shoulder-to-shoulder against fascism," chanted the crowds.

They were largely made up of members of the main opposition CHP, a smaller left-wing party whose leader is one of the defendants, and secularist associations.

"You can see that tens of thousands of people cannot tolerate this unjustness. The trust in the community is starting to be hugely affected, due to the legal system publicly taking and crushing justice beneath its feet. The public can't tolerate this unjustness anymore," said a main opposition CHP MP, Bulent Tezcan.

State prosecutors were set to present their final statements on Thursday in the trial of defendants accused of membership a shadowy underground network of ultra-nationalists.

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