Protesters accused the forum of being a platform for water privatisation, and shouted `water for life, not for profit`.
Turkish police fired teargas to disperse a group of about 100 protesters gathered at the start of a global water forum in Istanbul on Monday and detained 17, state-run news agency Anatolian reported.
Government ministers from 120 countries, scientists and campaigners are meeting in Istanbul this week to discuss how to avert a global water crisis and ease tensions between states fighting over water resources.
Nearly half of the world’s people will be living in areas of acute water shortage by 2030, the United Nations has warned.
Protesters accused the forum of being a platform for water privatisation, and shouted “water for life, not for profit,” Reuters television showed.
Four heads of state are expected to attend the World Water Forum.