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Middle East

Turkish police break up Internet protest

A woman and man resist pressurized water used by riot police to dislodge them, as they stage a sit-in protest in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (AP Photo)

ISTANBUL: Riot police in Istanbul have used water cannons against hundreds of people protesting a government plan to expand controls over the public's use of Internet.

Police did that Saturday to prevent a protest march down a main street to denounce the draft bill that would allow Turkey's telecommunications authority to block websites accused of privacy violations without a court decision.

Critics say that would expand the government's already tight grip on the Internet. The government rejects accusations of censorship, saying the move aims to protect privacy.

The measure comes as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is fighting a corruption probe targeting people close to him.

Hundreds of people held a similar protest in Ankara on Saturday. No violence was reported.

 

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