Turkey bars protestors' wedding party at Istanbul park; disperses crowds with water cannon

Published July 20, 2013

| Associated Press

Police have fired a water cannon in downtown Istanbul to disperse an anti-government demonstration.

The clash occurred Saturday after hundreds of people tried to enter the city's Gezi Park to hold a wedding ceremony for a couple who had reportedly met during last month's widespread protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 10-year rule.

Police closed the park to prevent the ceremony, then forced demonstrators off nearby Taksim square to a pedestrian street and fired the water cannon, according to Turkey's private Dogan news agency. No casualties were immediately reported.

The earlier wave of nationwide anti-Erdogan protests was sparked by a brutal police crackdown on a sit-in by environmentalists in the park and the square in June. There have been sporadic demonstrations since then.

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