Dead Toll in Turkey Clashes Rises to 5

World | June 13, 2013, Thursday // 13:51|  views

Mass protests in Turkey were sparked by plans to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul. Photo by EPA/BGNES

The dead toll in clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Turkey has risen to five.

The Bulgarian news agency BGNES cites international media reports that Eter Sarisuluk, 26, has died from his injuries Thursday.

A family lawyer has announced the tragic news.

Doctors fought for several days to save the young man, who sustained a serious head trauma on June 1, in a police action to disperse protesting crowds in the capital Ankara.

Turkey has seen tireless civil unrest sparked by a police crackdown on a local protest over construction plans for Gezi park on Taksim square in Istanbul.

Four people, including a police officer, were previously reported to have died since the protests began, with thousands more hurt and hundreds arrested. There are fears that the dead toll might be much higher than the official reports.

The government says more than 500 police officers are among the injured. There are reports that 6 policemen have committed suicide.

It was reported meanwhile that three police officers in Izmir have been fired over using excessive force against a group of young people who had just been standing on the street, talking to each other.

Turkish NTV reports that the policemen have been fired and are investigated after media showed footage of the three forcefully searching the youth and pulling the hair of a girl from the group.

The protests began on May 28 over plans to redevelop Gezi Park, but soon turned into rallies against the authoritarian and Islamic-leaning rule of Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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