Turkey protesters not to relent till PM quits
Istanbul (AFP): Turkey's embattled government insisted it was not a second-class democracy even as police tear-gassed protesters who massed in the...
Istanbul (AFP): Turkey's embattled government insisted it was not a second-class democracy even as police tear-gassed protesters who massed in the streets calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to quit. Bellowing to the din of drums and wailing Turkish pipes, teachers, doctors, bank staff and others marched in a sea of red and yellow union flags in the capital Ankara and in Istanbul, where they converged peacefully on Taksim Square, the epicentre of nearly a week of violent clashes. "Taksim, resist, the workers are coming!" they chanted in Istanbul, directing most of their anger at Erdogan, who has dismissed the protesters as extremists as he grapples with the biggest challenge to his decade in power. In Ankara, Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds who joined mass demonstrations. The striking workers had earlier unfurled banners addressing Erdogan, reading, "This nation will not bow to you!" and "Taksim Square is everywhere!" Erdogan was due back in Turkey on Thursday after a trip abroad, with thousands of angry demonstrators calling for his resignation as protests entered a seventh day. Deputy Prime Minister Huseyin Celik has urged party supporters not to flock to the airport to welcome him back so as not to inflame tensions. "The Prime Minister does not need a show of power," he told a local television channel. When Erdogan flew out of Turkey on Monday on a four-day visit to north Africa, he had dismissed the protests saying that they would have died down before he returned.