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Turkey: Sixth Anti-Government Protester Dies

Ahmet Atakan allegedly killed after being struck in the head by a teargas canister.
By Ari Soffer
First Publish: 9/10/2013, 11:46 AM

Turkish police use water cannon aainst Gezi Park protesters
Turkish police use water cannon aainst Gezi Park protesters
Reuters

A sixth protester has been killed in Turkey in connection to the "Gezi Park" protest movement.

22 year old Ahmet Atakan died in the southern province of Hatay, after reportedly being struck in the head by a teargas canister fired by Turkish police. 

There have been conflicting reports regarding the nature of the protest.

According to the Hurriyet Daily website, Atakan had been taking part in a solidarity march at the time, held in support of activists in the capital Ankara who oppose the construction of a road through the Middle Eastern Technical University. The march was also in commemoration of Abdullah Comert, who was killed at the start of the "Gezi protests" in early June.

At the time, plans by the Turkish government to build a replica of an Ottoman-style barracks and a mall in the only green space left in the city, Gezi Park, triggered weeks of angry protests on the streets of Turkey. Local residents opposed to the move joined forces with Turkish opposition activists, who saw the move as another alarming manifestation of the "authoritarian" tendencies of Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyip Erdogan and his Islamist AKP party.

The plan has since been scrapped, and protests largely died down after the government reportedly compromised on protesters’ demands.

But resentment against AKP policies is still simmering, particularly among Turkey's secular population - and this latest death threatens to trigger renewed protests.

However, CNN later reported that the dead man had been participating in demonstrations against foreign military intervention in Syria.

Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into the death.