Turkish police break up quake protests

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The Independent Online

Riot police used tear gas and batons yesterday to disperse protesters angry at the state's relief efforts after the second earthquake in eastern Turkey in three weeks killed at least 10 people.

Rescue teams searched for survivors after the 5.7 magnitude tremor on Wednesday night heaped misery on the city of Van, the predominantly Kurdish region where more than 600 people died following a major quake on 23 October. "How can you fire pepper spray on people who have already suffered so much?" said Abdulrahim Kaplan. He had gone to the crisis centre for a tent when police began firing tear gas, he said.

"Our people are freezing. We are sleeping outside – all seven of my family," he said, complaining bitterly over the alleged unfair distribution of tents. "Some people take five, some 10 and others get nothing. This is wrong."

Thousands of families are living in makeshift camps with temperatures falling to freezing with the onset of winter. The latest tremor cut power to the area.

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