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'Ergenekon' trial ignites clashes between police and supporters of defendants

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'Ergenekon' trial ignites clashes between police and supporters of defendants

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Euronews correspondent Bora Bayraktar reported from close to the courthouse where dozens were given long prison terms for plotting against the government.

“As the sentences were read out, the police kept everyone away. But hundreds of supporters of the Ergenekon defendants protested the court’s decision, kilometres away from the courtroom”.

Trouble was brewing even before the verdicts were handed down in one of the most politically explosive court trials the country has seen in recent years.

When the inevitable clashes came, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, scattering protestors as they ran for cover.

Amid escalating tensions, police in turn faced a barrage of rocks and resorted to water cannon to keep the crowds under control.

Despite a protest ban, as well as barbed wire and barricades, hundreds of demonstrators found their way through fields around the courthouse until they were blocked by police with riot shields.

The landmark case aims to bring an end to the feud, but risks further inflaming political rivalries.