Turkish police use tear gas to disperse women’s march

ISTANBUL (AP) — Riot police in Istanbul fired tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators who tried to march along the city’s main pedestrian avenue to mark International Women’s Day.

Thousands of people, most of them women, gathered near Istiklal Street on Friday for a march that police said was unauthorized.

Police had set up barricades at the entrance to the street and fired several rounds of tear gas to push back marchers.

Authorities have restricted protests in the country in recent years, citing security.

Earlier, hundreds of people in Istanbul protested against the imprisonment of women and children in Syrian penitentiaries.

Separately, four female members of Turkey’s gendarmerie units rappelled hundreds of feet down from Istanbul’s 15 July Martyrs’ Bridge and into the waters of the Bosporus.