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Turkish police injured in clashes over Morsi death sentence



At least 11 Turkish police officers were injured in clashes with Islamist demonstrators in the Kurdish-majority southeast who were protesting the death sentence given by an Egyptian court to former president Mohamed Morsi, the provincial governor said Saturday.

The protesters had gathered outside a mosque in the Diyarbakir province following Friday prayers and read out a statement denouncing the verdict, chanting “God is great”, an AFP photographer said.

Police fired teargas and water cannon at protesters when they attempted to march towards Diyarbakir’s main square.

The protesters, including members of the Islamist Huda-Par, known to be the political extension of Turkish Hezbollah, as well as members of dozens of Muslim NGO groups, responded by throwing stones, prompting clashes with club-wielding riot police.

The Diyarbakir governor’s office said in a statement that at least 11 police officers had been hurt in the clashes and that “extensive damage” had been caused to the city.

Around 20 people were arrested.

Turkey condemned the May 16 court ruling sentencing Morsi and 105 other defendants to death for their role in a mass jailbreak in 2011.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been one of the staunchest supporters of Morsi’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Morsi was ousted by the army in 2013 following mass protests against his turbulent year-long rule.

Tensions are running high in Turkey in the run-up to parliamentary elections on June 7 that Erdogan views as crucial to rewrite the constitution to create a powerful executive-style presidency if his AKP party secures a commanding majority in parliament.

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