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Turkey: Protests continue…Erdogan: Protesters vandals, looters

Protests Continue…Erdogan: Protesters Vandals, Looters

Al Ahed news

In a series of increasingly belligerent speeches to his supporters Sunday, Turkey’s prime minister launched a verbal attack on the tens of thousands of anti-government protesters who flooded the streets for a 10th day, accusing them of creating an environment of terror.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the most inflammatory of his speeches as he arrived in the capital, Ankara. Erdogan belittled the protesters, again calling them “capulcu,” Turkish for looters or vandals. He made his speech in Ankara on an open-top bus, which then drove into the city in a motorcade.

“If you look in the dictionary, you will see how right a description this is,” Erdogan said, speaking to thousands of supporters who greeted him at the airport. “Those who burn and destroy are called capulcu. Those who back them are of the same family.”

The increasingly fiery tone could inflame tensions, with protesters in both Ankara and the country’s largest city, Istanbul, remaining on the streets. Protests have been held in at least 78 cities across the country so far. Clashes have been reported between Erdogan supporters and protesters.
Some of the injured in the initial clashes in Istanbul’s Besiktas area were treated in Dolmabahce Mosque.

Anti-government protesters have turned Erdogan’s label of them as “capulcu” into a humorous retort, printing stickers with the word, scrawling it on their tents and uploading music videos onto social network sites. Erdogan had earlier visited another two cities where unrest occurred and made speeches condemning his detractors. He planned more speeches in a day that looked much like an election candidate on the campaign trail.

After the speech, crowds at Istanbul’s Taksim Square swelled, with several tens of thousands packing into the square. Thousands more flooded Ankara’s central square, a day after police used tear gas and water cannons to oust them.

Erdogan’s refusal to moderate his tone caused dismay.

“As the prime minister continues [with] his harsh style, the resistance also continues and is getting bigger,” said Cagdas Ersoy, a 23-year-old student who joined the protests in Ankara’s Kizilay square. “He is making the resistance bigger without realizing it.”

Erdogan challenged the protesters as the ballot box.

“It’s not these marginal groups, but the people, who are going to call us to account, and they are going to do it at the ballot box. The people brought us here [through elections] and it’s the people who will vote us out,” he said.

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Turkish protesters in full control of Istanbul Gezi Park

Press TV

Turkish protesters have taken full control of Istanbul’s Gezi Park as anti-government protests, which have already left four people dead, entered their 11th day.

Protesters in Istanbul are now in control of a large area near the city’s Taksim Square, barricading the roads leading to their tents and forcing police to completely withdraw from the site.

Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party leader has called on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to stop escalating tensions.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu said Erdogan is “trying to hold on to power by creating tensions” and is “throwing society into the fire.”…

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