Turkish police silence chained protester

TURKEY - Turkish police on 20 August detained a man who chained himself to iron railings outside Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's office in protest at a hard-hitting economic crisis, state-run Anatolian news agency said.
TURKEY - Turkish police on 20 August detained a man who chained himself to iron railings outside Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's office in protest at a hard-hitting economic crisis, state-run Anatolian news agency said.

Ecevit's three-party coalition is struggling to implement a $15.7 billion economic programme backed by the IMF and the World Bank in an effort to right Turkey's economic ills.

"I am a citizen of this country. I am an honest citizen. I am bankrupt," the agency quoted the protester as shouting.

Police silenced the man, who has yet to be identified, by covering his mouth with their hands as they unchained him from the bars before taking him to a police station for questioning, Anatolian said.

Turkey's February crisis has hit ordinary citizens hard, slashing the lira's dollar value by more than 50 percent and causing an economic recession the government says will bring a 5.5 percent contraction in gross national product this year.

The demonstration followed a similar incident in April, when a Turkish coffee shop owner threw a cash register towards Ecevit in protest at the lira's depreciation.

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