Anti-IMF protest in Istanbul quashed
Turkish police used water cannons, tear gas and pepper spray to disperse demonstrators protesting against the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Istanbul in the ritualised event that takes place each year in a different lucky city. As part of this year’s schedule, masked protesters shattered the windows of a McDonald's and several banks less than a kilometre from the meetings. The protesters were armed with firebombs and confronted police in back streets, but police prevented them from reaching the meeting venue. The protesters were mostly members of small leftist parties or labour unions. Turkey and the IMF are in talks about a new loan deal that could boost investor confidence, but Turkey has been reluctant to cut spending and implement austerity measures. These demonstrations will clearly strengthen the Turks’ hand.