As Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan returns to his country from a visit to north Africa, protesters will continue to demand his apology for the police crackdown that has responded to the week’s raging protests.
A police officer died Thursday after falling into an underpass while trying to break up a protest. Two protesters have also been reported killed so far, while another is said to remain on life support.
As protesters continue to demonstrate in Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul and elsewhere around the country, calling for Erdoğan’s resignation, authorities there have arrested more than two dozen for their posts on social media.
In a move likely to inflame the anger of Turkish protesters, authorities earlier arrested two dozen social media users on accusations of spreading false information about demonstrations sweeping the nation.
Police detained 25 people and were searching for 13 more on accusations of using social media networks such as Twitter to spread false details about the anti-government protests and police reaction to them, according to the semiofficial Anadolu Agency news service.
Meanwhile, Erdoğan has said that the opposition party has been stoking the protesters, calling their actions ‘burn and destroy’ tactics and accusing “terror groups” of hijacking demonstrations.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned the “burn and destroy” tactics of some of those involved in days of violent protests on Thursday, and promised to press ahead with plans for an Istanbul park which triggered the unrest.
Speaking on a visit to Tunisia, Erdogan said “terror groups” were manipulating what had started as an environmental campaign, and added that seven foreigners were among those arrested.
“If you say: ‘I will hold a meeting and burn and destroy’, we will not allow that,” he told reporters after meeting his Tunisian counterpart. “We are against the majority dominating the minority and we cannot tolerate the opposite.”
The situation continues to remain fluid in Turkey. Livestream video and Twitter feeds are available at this prior Legal Insurrection post.