AFP – A young demonstrator was killed in Istanbul by a car that rammed into a crowd during a wave of protests against Turkey’s government, a medics’ union said on Monday.
The car killed Mehmet Ayvalitas, a member of a left-wing association, when it ploughed into demonstrators occupying a highway on Sunday, the third day of clashes between protesters and police, the Union of Turkish Doctors said in a statement.
It said the driver did not stop “despite all warnings”, the statement said, suggesting the act was deliberate.
The non-government group blamed the death on the government’s “intransigeance” and condemned the authorities’ hardline approach to trying to quell the protests.
“The first thing to do is stop the police brutality immediately,” it said.
Rights groups and medics say several days of clashes have injured hundreds of people. The government’s last estimate on Sunday put the figure at 58 civilians and 115 security forces.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing down the fiercest protests in his decade-long rule, sharpened by anger over his perceived authoritarian leanings.
Clashes have flared since Friday between police and demonstrators who accuse him of seeking to impose conservative Islamic reforms on secular Turkey.