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Demonstration of civic group deterred during WWF
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Turkish police on Monday detained 17 demonstrators while intervening in a group which attempted to protest against the on-going 5th World Water Forum ( WWF) in the country's largest city of Istanbul.

The group of "No to Commercialization of Water" was formed by members of several nongovernmental organizations, who attempted to demonstrate in front of the Sutluce Congress and Culture Center where the WWF forum is taking place.

The demonstrators chanted slogans and carried banners such as "water is life, it cannot be sold" and "enough water for everyone. "

Turkish security forces clashed with the protestors and used teargas to disperse the group. A police officer was injured in his arm during the clash, said witnesses.

The 5th World Water Forum, the biggest water-related event organized by the World Water Council (WWC), began here Monday with the theme of "Bridging Divides for Water" to facilitate solutions to the world's water problems and promote cooperation among states and organizations.

The week-long event with 25,000 participants across the world will discuss a wide range of topics, including global change and water and managing and protecting water resources.

Water commercialization is a controversial issue, which is also expect to be debated in the forum.

During the last edition of forum in Mexico City in March, 2006, more than 1,000 people from a variety of civil groups staged a march to protest against any possible privatization of water resources.

(Xinhua News Agency March 17, 2009)

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