Labor unions and political foes of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan rallied by the thousands across Turkey Monday, hoping to capitalize on weeks of initially small-scale protest to register broader discontent.
Riot police in Istanbul fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse pockets of protesters on the sidelines of the demonstration called by labor groups.
A rally in Ankara took place peacefully, and there were no immediate signs that the police operation in Istanbul had provoked major clashes in the afternoon. Earlier, Turkey’s interior minister warned that anyone joining unlawful demonstrations would “bear the legal consequences.”
Meanwhile, in a sign of tensions between rival groups, images from Dogan news agency showed crowds of government supporters facing down some protesters. Some chanted “the hands targeting the police should be broken.”