Protests as World Water Forum opens in Turkey (Lead, Changing Dateline)

March 16th, 2009 - 5:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Ankara, March 16 (DPA) At least 17 people were taken into custody in protests as the fifth World Water Forum got under way in the Turkish city of Istanbul Monday morning, the Anadolu news agency reported.
Police used tear gas to try and break up a group of around 150 people who attempted to march to the congress venue of the forum on the Golden Horn, near the Bosporus Straits. The group was protesting what it said was the way forum participants treat water as a commodity and not as a right for all.

Some 20,000 people from more than 130 countries were in Istanbul for the forum which is held every three years. The forum aims to bring together people from both within and outside the water sector in order to find sustainable solutions to the world’s water challenges.

“The forum offers the water community and policy-and-decision-makers from all over the world the unique opportunity to come together to create links, debate and attempts to find solutions to achieve water security,” according to the World Water Council which organises the event.

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