By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Turkish police has increased its technical equipment for tackling protestors in mass demonstrations. According to an announcement the General Directorate of Security, in the next few months, 50 new armored vehicles equipped with water pumps will be bought. Already, the necessary negotiations with the Turkish defense industry are underway and the relevant completion has been completed.
According to the program, five vehicles called TOMA in Turkey (toplumsal olaylara müdahale aracı – vehicle for the address of social upheaval) have already been delivered to the police while the remaining 45 will be delivered in 2014. Each armored vehicle costs EUR 250.000.
The new TOMA of the Turkish police have special armor to protect them against explosives and bullets. Special windscreen wipers have also been installed on the vehicles in order for them to keep going when under attack by water, eggs etc. Moreover, the roofs of the vehicles will be slippery so protestors aren’t able to jump on them.
15 armed vehicles will be deployed in Ankara, 20 in Istanbul and the rest in other Turkish cities.
Following the Gezi park incidents and clashes, demonstrators protested against extreme police violence and the role police vehicles played in dealing with the mass protests.