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Turkey police fire tear gas at protesters in Ankara

350542_Turkey-protests

Police in Turkey have fired tear gas and used water canon to disperse protesters calling for the release of army officers who were detained for plotting a coup.

Protesters spilled out into the streets of the capital, Ankara, on Thursday chanting “Freedom to patriots, end conspiracies.”

Police forces blocked the protesters from marching to the parliament building.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last month that he was not against the retrial of hundreds of military officers detained for plotting to topple his government.

Last week, the government presented a bill to the parliament to clear the way for the military officers to be retried.

The proposal involves transferring the officers’ case files from the eight specially appointed courts that tried them to high criminal courts.

The Turkish military has requested a review of the mass trials that put hundreds of officers in prison last year and the year before, saying that some of the evidence against them was faulty.

Erdogan’s move has come at a time when his Justice and Development Party has been embroiled in a corruption scandal, which has shaken the country’s political establishment.

On December 25, 2013, the Turkish premier replaced the economy, interior, and environment ministers, whose sons had been arrested as part of investigations into the spiraling corruption scandal.

Erdogan denounced the probe as a plot to undermine his government ahead of the local elections in March, adding that the graft allegations against businesspersons and government officials are hindering the country’s economic growth.

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