Water cheapest way to control water forum protestors- Turkish police

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Water cheapest way to control water forum protestors- Turkish police
Oluşturulma Tarihi: Mart 18, 2009 12:58

Water is the cheapest way to disperse demonstrators protesting the 5th World Water Forum held in Istanbul, Turkish police officials said on Wednesday. (UPDATED)

Thousands of delegates from governments, nonprofit groups, businesses and other institutions have gathered for the conference, which is being held in a converted slaughterhouse on the banks of the Golden Horn inlet in Turkey's biggest city. Waste, sanitation, climate change and a debate over privatization and government policies on water are key topics.

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Police detained tens of demonstrators, who rallied outside the conference center to protest what they said was the forum's promotion of water as a commodity, since the organization opened on Monday. The protesters said major water companies benefit from privatization, and that the poor are entitled to clean water as a "human right".

Police department officials told the Anatolian Agency they preferred the use water canons to disperse groups of demonstrators as it does not cause serious harm and it is also the cheapest method.

Police used 13-14 tons of water to disperse a crowded demonstration at a cost of 400 TL ($235), officials said. Police authorities said when they used tear gas in a similar demonstration, the cost was nearly 12,500 TL ($7,350).


Turkish police have also deported two environmental activists who staged a protest at the opening of the forum, diplomats and activists said Wednesday.


A German activist was put on a plane to her country, a German diplomat told AFP, while the environmental group International Rivers said the second protestor was deported to the United States.


The two women, both members of International Rivers, were detained after unfurling a banner reading "No more dangerous dams" at the opening of the forum on Monday.


The group condemned the police action as "an aggressive response to a peaceful demonstration."


Turkey has come under fire from environmentalists over several dam projects, which activists say would destroy natural and historical riches and displace thousands of people.





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