ANKARA, Turkey — Police in Turkey’s capital on Monday used tear gas and water cannons to push back hundreds of activists trying to reach Ankara’s main train station to commemorate more than a hundred victims of an attack blamed on Islamic State militants. Close to 70 demonstrators were detained, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Authorities, citing security concerns, had banned large-scale commemorations to mark the first anniversary of the twin suicide bombings that targeted peace activists gathering for a rally in front of the station. The attack was the deadliest in Turkey.
Police blocked roads leading to the station and barred demonstrators from marching to the spot where the attacks occurred, leading to scuffles between police and the mourners.
Police fired pepper and tear gas and used water cannons to chase some of the demonstrators down a main street.
However, authorities allowed families of the victims and some representatives of civil society groups to lay carnations at the spot. Passengers with trains to catch were also allowed through the road blocks.