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Man with machete threatens protesters in Ankara

11 July 2013

A group of protesters who had gathered together to commemorate the death of the fifth person to die in the Gezi protests, Ali Ismail Korkmaz, who died from his injuries on June 11th, were dispersed by police who used water cannons and tear gas. The police intervention took place at the junction of Kennedy Avenue and Ataturk Avenue, near the U.S. Embassy, in Ankara’s Kizilay district, where the group were staging a sit-in.

In the Dikmen area of the city, another commemoration was marked by an incident in which a man with a machete got out of a car and attacked the protesters. Police did not immediately stop the man but miraculously nobody was injured, a Turkish daily reported.

People with machetes had also chased Gezi protesters and bystanders during the police crackdown at Taksim Square this weekend in Istanbul, sparking an enormous outcry that added to the outrage of the demonstrators from previous similar occurrences.

The man with machete seen in amateur footage, identified as a shop owner in the Talimhane district where a number of touristic hotels are located, was released pending trial after being briefly taken into custody.

The Istanbul police had dismayed onlookers by not acting against the men carrying sticks and machetes, which was interpreted as a deliberate move to intimidate the protesters.

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