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Dozens arrested as police disperse Ankara education protest

AFP , Saturday 20 Dec 2014
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Dozens of demonstrators were arrested on Saturday in the Turkish capital Ankara as police used pepper spray and water cannon to disperse a protest in favour of secular education.

Police moved in on the protest, organised by labour unions, in the Kizilay district of Ankara with protesters forced to take cover from the jets of water and pepper spray, an AFP photographer reported.

Some reports said as many as 100 people may have been arrested, including the head of the Egitim-Is education union Veli Demir.

Many activists have been angered by the interventions of the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Turkish education system which they allege have undermined the country's secularity.

The government lifted a ban on female students wearing the Islamic headscarf in high schools and has encouraged the opening of Imam Hatip schools which mix religious education with a modern curriculum.

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