ISTANBUL Turkish police on Monday fired tear gas into crowds of soccer fans arriving for the opening match at Istanbul side Besiktas' new $100 million stadium, witnesses said.
Thousands of fans massed around the 42,000-seat Vodafone Arena, under construction for nearly three years, before a match between top-of-the-league Besiktas and mid-table Bursaspor.
It was not immediately clear why police dispersed the crowd, which included young children, media said.
Authorities had formed a security line around the arena and blocked all car traffic. Police appeared to react when crowds pushed towards the turnstiles, witnesses said.
Another witness who lives a mile away from the arena reported seeing clouds of teargas envelop the area and spill out over the waters of the Bosphorus Strait. The stadium is nestled on the shores of the waterway near an Ottoman palace.
Turkey is on edge and has tightened security in public spaces after a series of bombings in Istanbul and the capital Ankara this year, which the government blamed on Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
(Reporting by Murad Sezer and Ayla Jean Yackley, editing by Larry King)
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Updated Date: Apr 11, 2016 23:31:56 IST