Riot police in Istanbul break up protests against new Internet restrictions
Riot police use a water cannon to disperse protesters during a rally against a bill which would, among other things, allow Turkey's telecommunications authority to directly block access to websites or remove content deemed to be violating privacy without a court decision, in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014. (AP / Emrah Gurel)
Published Saturday, January 18, 2014 1:53PM EST
ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Riot police in Istanbul have used water cannons against hundreds of people protesting a government plan to expand controls over the public's use of Internet.
Police did that Saturday to prevent a protest march down a main street to denounce the draft bill that would allow Turkey's telecommunications authority to block websites accused of privacy violations without a court decision.
Critics say that would expand the government's already tight grip on the Internet. The government rejects accusations of censorship, saying the move aims to protect privacy.
The measure comes as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is fighting a corruption probe targeting people close to him.
Hundreds of people held a similar protest in Ankara on Saturday. No violence was reported.