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Turkish Police Use Gas, Water Cannon to Disperse Protesters

Turkish riot police use water cannons to disperse demonstrators during an anti-government protest in central Istanbul, Dec.27, 2013.
Turkish riot police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters from central Istanbul Friday.

Protesters gathered in several Turkish cities, including the capital Ankara, to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government has been linked to illicit money transfers. Some protesters in Istanbul were arrested.

Thousands of supporters of the embattled prime minister also took to the streets.

More than 20 people, including high-ranking state officials and their relatives, have been arrested on corruption charges. The scandal has forced Mr. Erdogan to reshuffle his government.

A Turkish court on Friday blocked the government's move to change the rules on launching a corruption investigation.

Prime Minister Erdogan said the probe is part of a conspiracy to bring down his government.

In early August Turkish authorities used force to crack down on protesters who blocked the streets of Istanbul and other cities to protest what they say is Mr. Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule.