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Protests rock Turkey cities

Protests rock Turkey cities
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The unrest was triggered by protests against government plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or flats in Istanbul's landmark...

The unrest was triggered by protests against government plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or flats in Istanbul's landmark Taksim Square, long a venue for political demonstrations Istanbul (Agencies): Turkish police have arrested more than 900 people during two days of protests, the most sustained anti-government outburst for years. Interior Minister Muammer Guler said some of those arrested had since been released, others would be put on trial. He said 26 policemen and 53 civilians had been hurt, one seriously. Violence flared after police cracked down on a protest over a park in Istanbul. The protest sites were largely calm early on Sunday. Thousands took to the streets in Istanbul and Ankara on Friday and Saturday in a flare-up of anger among urban and secular Turks after police violently broke up an anti-development sit-in in Istanbul's landmark Taksim Square.
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The unrest was triggered by protests against government plans to build a replica Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or apartments in Taksim, long a venue for political demonstrations. Protests soon spread to dozens of other cities, as demonstrators denounced what they see as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian style. In Ankara, thousands congregated at a busy shopping street on Saturday - jovially singing, waving Turkish flags, and often breaking into calls for Erdogan to resign. BBC's James Reynolds in Istanbul says a lot of people are fed up with the government, which they believe wants to take away some of their personal freedoms. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered to talk to the protesters, but our correspondent says there is no clear leader of the demonstrators. In the early hours of Sunday there were isolated clashes around the streets of Istanbul. But witnesses said the atmosphere at dawn was calm and largely peaceful, with demonstrators milling about between burnt-out cars and gathering around fires.
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