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Turkey: Istanbul covered in debris as clashes continue01:09

Turkey: Istanbul covered in debris as clashes continue

Turkey, Istanbul
June 3, 2013 at 20:36 GMT +00:00 · Published

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Turkey: Istanbul covered in debris as clashes continue

Protests continued on Istanbul's streets on Monday as demonstrations in 67 towns across Turkey entered their fifth day. In the Besiktas district protesters ripped out paving slabs to construct barricades to repel a feared onslaught of tear gas and water cannons fired by riot police.

On Sunday, the Bezmialem Mosque in Besiktas became a centre for treating the injured. Nationwide over 1,000 people have sustained injuries, according to human rights group Amnesty International. An estimated 1,700 arrests have been made in the demonstrations that began as a rally to halt development plans in Taksim Gezi Park. The protests have snowballed, with the gathering momentum directed against what protesters state is the creeping authoritarianism of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade long rule. Critics of Erdogan state that he has eroded civil liberties, "Islamified" the Turkish secular state and compromised the country's security by aligning with the Gulf states, Europe and the USA on the Syrian conflict.

Over half of Turkey's electorate voted against Erdogan in June 2011 elections, which swept the leader to power for a third consecutive term. His detractors accuse the government of censoring the media and undermining the secular constitution, with the recent restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol cited as an example.

Turkey: Istanbul covered in debris as clashes continue01:09
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Turkey: Istanbul covered in debris as clashes continue

Protests continued on Istanbul's streets on Monday as demonstrations in 67 towns across Turkey entered their fifth day. In the Besiktas district protesters ripped out paving slabs to construct barricades to repel a feared onslaught of tear gas and water cannons fired by riot police.

On Sunday, the Bezmialem Mosque in Besiktas became a centre for treating the injured. Nationwide over 1,000 people have sustained injuries, according to human rights group Amnesty International. An estimated 1,700 arrests have been made in the demonstrations that began as a rally to halt development plans in Taksim Gezi Park. The protests have snowballed, with the gathering momentum directed against what protesters state is the creeping authoritarianism of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade long rule. Critics of Erdogan state that he has eroded civil liberties, "Islamified" the Turkish secular state and compromised the country's security by aligning with the Gulf states, Europe and the USA on the Syrian conflict.

Over half of Turkey's electorate voted against Erdogan in June 2011 elections, which swept the leader to power for a third consecutive term. His detractors accuse the government of censoring the media and undermining the secular constitution, with the recent restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol cited as an example.

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