Turkish police fired water cannon and teargas to disperse thousands of people protesting in central Istanbul yesterday against new controls on the Internet approved by parliament, the Reuters website reports today (February 9, 2014).
The new powers -- when approved by the president -- will let authorities block web pages within hours, in what the opposition has said is part of a government bid to stifle discussion of a corruption scandal currently taking place in Turkey.
Riot police advanced along Istanbul's Istiklal Avenue behind armored vehicles firing water cannon at protesters, some of whom waved flags and held up placards.
Some demonstrators responded by throwing stones or setting off fireworks aimed at police before scattering into side streets. "Everywhere is bribery, everywhere is corruption," some chanted.