Teargas v stones, bottles: Hundreds of protesters clash with Turkish police near Syrian border (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
The protest began with more than 1,000 participants. Local
reports stated that the count could have even stood at over 10,000.
However, it quickly fragmented, with the number of attendees
dwindling to the hundreds.
Protesters waved red banners, and lobbed stones and bottles at the officers as the intensity of Saturday’s clashes escalated.
Riot police made attempts to disperse the crowds, marching in solidarity with the victims of last week’s attacks.
Police prevented the protesters from reaching the center of the town, where the bombs exploded by the city hall and post office. Barriers were broken down, with some detained, and others suffering injuries, according to a local tweet. The clashes calmed down after approximately an hour.
Residents of the town harbored frustration at the government’s immediate response to last Saturday's fatal car bombs in Hatay province on the Turkey-Syria border which also injured over 100.
Angered by Turkish authorities’ policy towards Syria, protesters have been calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet to resign as people blame them for the decision to take in Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict in their country, saying it has made Turkey a target for attacks.
Prime Minister Erdogan also came in for criticism for traveling to the United States this week, instead of visiting the town to display support in the wake of its tragedy.
The twin blast provoked mass rallies throughout the country.
Thursday also saw protesters in Istanbul with activists attempting to march to Erdogan's office, as they blame the PM for funding and support for the Syrian rebels against President Bashar Assad.
Riot police blocked the road and fired teargas canisters to disperse the crowd as protesters threw stones.
This followed a day of teargas and water cannons in Ankara, where 30 people were arrested and two injured in clashes with police.
Immediately following the blasts, approximately 100 of the city’s residents took to the streets outside Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.
So far, 17 people have been detained within the scope of the
investigation carried out about the twin attacks. Those detained
and another four still wanted are Turkish citizens, said Governor
of Turkey's southern Hatay province Celalettin Lekesiz. Eight
people have reportedly been charged and awaiting trial.
Turkey had been quick to blame Syria for the deadly attacks, with Ankara warning it would take “all retaliatory measures necessary,” raising the prospect of an escalation in the conflict.
Interior Minister Muammer Guler and other Turkish officials have accused a former Marxist terror group that they claim have links with Syria's intelligence services Al Muhabarat.
Syria dismisses Turkey's accusations, claiming “this is not the behavior of the Syrian government.”
"It is Erdogan who should be asked about this act... He and his party bear direct responsibility," Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi told a news conference on last Sunday. "As an assassin, he should resign."