Thousands in anti-government protests in Istanbul

Sunday 22 December 2013 17.39
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Protestors throw stones as riot police use tear gas and water cannon during a demonstration in Istanbul
Protestors throw stones as riot police use tear gas and water cannon during a demonstration in Istanbul
The Istanbul City Demonstration was planned to denounce the governments mega construction projects that have threatened green areas of the city and urban transformation
The Istanbul City Demonstration was planned to denounce the governments mega construction projects that have threatened green areas of the city and urban transformation
Riot police face demonstrators  protesting over corruption allegations into four cabinet members, their relatives, a mayor and a number of businessmen
Riot police face demonstrators protesting over corruption allegations into four cabinet members, their relatives, a mayor and a number of businessmen

Thousands have taken to the streets in Istanbul to protest against the government over a corruption scandal that has led to multiple arrests.
              
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has called the corruption inquiry, which has seen 24 people including the sons of two ministers and the head of state-owned Halkbank formally charged,  a "dirty operation" to undermine his rule.
              
In response, Mr Erdogan has sacked or moved to different posts about 70 police officers, including the powerful head of Istanbul's force, in a widening crackdown on the force that launched the investigation.
              
Mr Erdogan drew thousands of cheering supporters when he toured the north of the country today.
              
However, in Istanbul, anti-government demonstrators flooded into Kadikoy Square, where a protest against government urbanisation plans had been scheduled to take place, before they were largely dispersed by police firing tear gas and water cannon.

Witnesses estimated the crowd in Kadikoy Square grew to as much as 10,000 at one point.

Keywords: turkey