Police stop Mersin group marching in support of Gezi Park protests

July 01, 2013, Monday/ 16:34:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Police stopped a group of 500 people in Mersin who had gathered in support of the recent Gezi Park protests.

The protesters gathered on Sunday to show their support for the recent Gezi Park events just as the Mediterranean Games, held in a different part of Mersin, were concluding.

At least 17 people were wounded, including two journalists and a police chief, during the ensuing clashes. Eight people were taken into custody.

The demonstrators gathered in front of a shopping center near Barış Square. Riot police were out in force, stopping activists with tear gas and water cannons. A number of protesters set fire to trash cans and removed tables and chairs from inside the shopping center in an attempt to build barricades.

A Syrian protester wearing a helmet drew particular attention during the events.

Tens of thousands of people joined nationwide protests following a police crackdown on participants in a peaceful sit-in in İstanbul's Gezi Park near Taksim Square on May 27. The protesters were dissatisfied with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's 10-year rule and his government's plans to build a replica of the Topçu Barracks in the park as part of the Taksim rejuvenation project. Five people, including a policeman, have died and more than 5,000 have been injured in the clashes, according to a Turkish rights group.

Police took strict security measures for the duration of the 10-day Mediterranean Games.

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