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World News

Turkish protesters, police clash at IMF meeting

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police fired tear gas and used water cannons for a second day to break up protests in Istanbul against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank on Wednesday.

Several hundred students and members of Turkish unions and left-wing political parties, carrying banners reading “IMF get out” clashed with riot police a few hundred meters (yards) from the IMF-World Bank meetings.

Turkish media and Reuters reporters said protests by groups of dozens to more than 100 people were taking place across several points in Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city.

Several youths threw stones at police in Sisli district near the IMF-World Bank convention center before riot police moved in to break up the protests, pushing them into side streets where they threw petrol bombs at banks and shops.

Istanbul Governor Muammer Guler said 25 people were detained.

Security has been stepped up across the city for the IMF-World Bank events, which ended on Wednesday.

There were no immediate reports of casualties although television images showed a few protesters with light wounds.

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“Protesting is not smashing windows,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech at a ceremony to mark the start of a university’s academic year.

“These people are trying to earn a living. What have the traders there done wrong?” Erdogan said.

On Tuesday, police broke up protests after demonstrators threw petrol bombs and smashed up banks near the convention center where finance ministers, central bankers and economists and executives had been meeting to discuss the global economy.

Several people were injured in Tuesday’s protests.

There is significant opposition among Turkish students to the IMF, which helped bail Turkey out of a deep financial crisis in 2001. Turkey and the IMF are negotiating a possible new loan agreement after the last one expired more than a year ago.

Reporting by Paul de Bendern and David Lawder; Editing by Angus MacSwan

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