World

Turkish police, crowds clash after teen’s funeral

Protestors held newspapers with a picture of the crying mother of Berkin Elvan, 15, on Wednesday in Ankara.
ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images
Protestors held newspapers with a picture of the crying mother of Berkin Elvan, 15, on Wednesday in Ankara.

ISTANBUL — Riot police clashed with antigovernment protesters in Istanbul and other Turkish cities following Wednesday’s funeral for a teenager who had been in a coma since a police tear-gas canister struck him in the head last year.

Police fired water cannons and tear gas to stop a crowd of thousands from reaching Istanbul’s main square following a funeral service for 15-year-old Berkin Elvan. Antigovernment protests have flared since Berkin’s death Tuesday.

Earlier, tens of thousands joined a funeral procession in Istanbul as Berkin’s coffin was carried through the streets. Many called for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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Mourners chanted, ‘‘Berkin Elvan is immortal!’’ “Government resign!’’ and ‘‘Murderer Tayyip!’’ Some hurled stones at a ruling party building, smashing its windows.

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Police also used tear gas and water cannons to drive back protesters in the capital, Ankara, and the third-largest city, Izmir. Protests were reported in at least eight other cities.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said 73 people were arrested in Ankara. Anadolu Agency and police provided no arrest figures for Istanbul.

Protesters’ anger is focused on Erdogan, in part, because he is blamed for ordering often heavy-handed crackdowns on antigovernment protests since June 2013 and has lauded the riot police as heroes. Eight people, including Berkin, were mortally wounded in last summer’s street clashes.

Erdogan is fighting allegations of corruption. He has been accused of seeking to derail investigations into government corruption by firing police and prosecutors from key positions.

Associated Press