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Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Ankara & Erdogan calls protesters extremists/looters

Turkish police fire tear gas to disperse protesters in Ankara

Press TV

Turkish police have used tear gas and water cannon to disperse anti-government demonstrators in Ankara who are demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On the fourth day of anti-government demonstrations that have swept across scores of Turkish cities, police clashed with hundreds of young protesters who had gathered in the downtown Kizilay Square on Monday.

Protestors in Istanbul are also converging on Taksim Square where demonstrations started on Friday after security forces attacked a peaceful four-day sit-in by environmental activists against the demolition of Gezi Park.

In a separate development, Turkey’s Public Workers Unions Confederation (KESK) said on Monday that it would hold a two-day “warning strike” from Tuesday in protest to heavy-handed police crackdown on anti-government protesters.

According to new reports, an anti-government protester has succumbed to injuries sustained after being hit by a car during a protest in Turkish city of Istanbul on Sunday, medical sources say.

Meanwhile, Erdogan has remained defiant, calling the protesters dictators and a bunch of looters. Nearly 2,200 protesters have been arrested so far.

The harsh security response has drawn international condemnation with EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton condemning Turkish police for using disproportionate force against demonstrators.

The White House has also called on Turkish security forces to exercise restraint in dealing with the protests, saying public demonstrations are part of the democratic expression.

More than 2,200 people have been arrested so far, while over 1000 demonstrators have also been injured in the protests.

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Erdogan calls protesters extremists

Press TV

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has termed the protesters demonstrating against his government extremists, adding that he is not a dictator as they have called him.

Since Friday, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters have held demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Mugla, Antalya, and many other cities and towns.

On Sunday, about 10,000 demonstrators, many waving flags, chanting “victory, victory, victory,” again gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, demanded that Erdogan resign.

On the same day, some 7,000 people held a demonstration in the capital Ankara that turned violent, with protesters throwing fire bombs and police firing teargas. Several protesters have denounced Erdogan as a dictator and fascist.

“If they call someone who has served the people a ‘dictator,’ I have nothing to say,” Erdogan said in an address on Sunday evening to a group representing migrants from the Balkans. “My only concern has been to serve my country.”

“I am not the master of the people. Dictatorship does not run in my blood or in my character. I am the servant of the people,” Erdogan said in another speech made an hour later.

The Turkish prime minister called the protests “ideological” and organized by an opposition “unable to beat (the government) at the ballot box.”

He added that 89 police vehicles, 42 private cars, four buses and 94 businesses were destroyed by the “vandalism” of the protesters.

On Saturday night, about 5,000 protesters surrounded Erdogan’s office in Istanbul’s Besiktas municipality, located on the European shore of the strait of Bosphorus, and threw stones, injuring at least seven policemen.

Special police forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

Earlier on Saturday, 100,000 demonstrators gathered in Taksim Square, demanding that Erdogan step down and calling the government “fascist.”

Thousands of people also took to the streets of other Turkish cities, such as Ankara, Izmir, Mugla, and Antalya, in support of the protesters in Istanbul…

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