Riot police throw tear gas into hotel lobby in Turkey: tourists hurt

Ceri Roberts
Tourists treated after riot police throw tear gas into hotel lobby in Turkey
Tourists treated after riot police throw tear gas into hotel lobby in Turkey

A number of hotel guests have been caught up in the continuing unrest in Turkey, as police took just 30 minute's to break up a peaceful protest with tear gas, water canon and rubber bullets.

On Saturday evening, several people were hurt as officers cleared Gezi Park in Taksim Square, in the centre of Istanbul.

The Daily Mail reports that many protesters ran into nearby hotels, but police pursued them. Tear gas was thrown into the lobby of Divan Hotel, filling it with smoke, and many people had to be treated by paramedics or taken to hospital by ambulance.

Reports suggest that the hotel was being used as a base by activists, who condemned the police's tactics because tear gas is more powerful in an enclosed space - and can even be lethal.

According to NBC News, some people inside the hotel fainted and others went limp.

The Occupy Gezi group said that police had also entered a nearby Hilton Hotel, which had opened its doors to the injured.

The Telegraph reports that plain-clothes policemen turned up outside other hotels, too, demanding that the protestors come out.

The two-week long sit-in at Gezi Park began as an environmental sit-in to prevent a development project, but spread into a broader, peaceful, anti-government protest.

Unrest also broke out in Ankara's Kizilay Square, where police fired tear gas and water canon at protestors.

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