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Turkish tobacco workers clash with police

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Turkish tobacco workers clash with police


Violence has erupted in the Turkish capital during a fresh protest by tobacco industry workers.

Scuffles broke out when police tried to block the demonstrators from staging a news conference in front of the headquarters of Turk-is, the country’s largest union.

After a three-week break for talks, hundreds of tobacco workers arrived in Ankara yesterday for a 24-hour strike against layoffs and loss of labour rights following the privatisation of Terkel, a former state outfit in the alcohol and tobacco sector.

Police used water cannon and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd and made several arrests.

In February, thousands of people gathered in the capital to show their support for the workers.

The government declared the protests illegal and has offered severance pay or contracts with lower wages but it is refusing to budge on the core issues.

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