50,000 Anti-IMF Demonstrators Battle Turkish Police

ANKARA – Police used batons and water cannon on Wednesday, April 11 to disperse 50,000 demonstrators after some stormed barriers and tried to march on Turkey’s parliament to demand the government resign over a punishing economic crisis.

ANKARA – Police used batons and water cannon on Wednesday, April 11 to disperse 50,000 demonstrators after some stormed barriers and tried to march on Turkey’s parliament to demand the government resign over a punishing economic crisis.

The explosion of public anger at the government and International Monetary Fund forced riot police and armoured cars to withdraw several times from
Ankara’s Tandogan Square as thousands of tradesmen and students hurled stones and sticks.

Many police and demonstrators were injured. At least 105 protesters were arrested.

Bulent Ecevit, the 76-year-old prime minister of NATO member and EU membership hopeful Turkey, rejected demands that he quit over a crisis he
sparked with a public row with the president.

“I do not see that upheaval and a search for a new government is of any help for Turkey and that is why I am staying in office,” Ecevit told parliamentary deputies.

Turkey’s Union of Chambers and Bourses called on Tuesday for Ecevit to resign. But there are doubts that a new government could be formed quickly to
tackle a financial crisis that has driven up prices and pushed many into unemployment.

Ecevit says he believes demonstrations are being infiltrated by radicals. Public anger, however, is growing and trade unions have called a nationwide
protest for Saturday.

[see also Turkey: Thousands Protest IMF ]

Author: Elif Unal

News Service: Reuters

URL: http://www.egroups.com/group/antiimf2000