Mar 24, 2012

Police Detain 32 Libyans Who Ransacked Istanbul Consulate

Libya protesters
Postcards from Libyan banks
Turkish police detained more than two dozen Libyans after they occupied and ransacked the Libyan consulate in Istanbul on Friday to protest at a lack of financial support from their government while in Turkey for medical treatment.

"We detained a total of 32 Libyans. They complained they haven't received money for months," Osman Yildirim, police chief for the downtown Beyoglu district of Istanbul, told Reuters.

He said the Libyans believed they were entitled to receive 250 euros a month from the consulate while they were in Turkey for treatment, not just for themselves but for each accompanying family member.

Some wanted to stay in Turkey, and some wanted to get married, he added.

Scuffles broke out and protesters threw stones, as riot police dispersed a crowd of around 70 protesters outside the building and sealed off the surrounding streets, near Istanbul's landmark Taksim Square.

The protesters also smashed doors, windows, phones, desks and computers in the consulate.

Libyans in Turkey have frequently protested outside both the consulate in Istanbul and embassy in Ankara in recent months. 
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