Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Turkey demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid a widening corruption scandal rattling his government. There are reports of tear gas and clashes with police in Istanbul.
Over 5,000 people gathered in Istanbul’s Kadikoy district and some 1,000 in the Besiktas district on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reports. Protesters have also gathered in the capital of Ankara, as well as in Izmir and other cities. Ruptly news agency says hundreds took to the streets of Istanbul.
Police in Istanbul have fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. At least four people have been arrested, according to Firat news agency.
Late on Wednesday, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, replacing 10 key ministers. This came soon after the resignation of interior, economy, and environment ministers over a high profile corruption investigation. Resigned Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar turned against the Turkish leader, urging him to step down.
The scandal and ensuing feud between Erdogan and the judiciary have reignited anti-government protests against Erdogan’s 11-year rule within the past week.
The protesters rallying in Istanbul have shouted slogans such as “Three ministers’ resignation is not enough, the whole government should resign,” as well as ” corruption is everywhere” and “resistance is everywhere,” Xinhua reported.. see more