Third night of pitched battles across Turkey

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Third night of pitched battles across Turkey

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Night fell on Turkey and tens of thousands of people took to the streets. This was the third night of fierce anti-government protests in the country.

Istanbul’s Besiktas neighbourhood resembled a battleground as a stand-off developed between protesters and police. Roads were sealed off around Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s office as police used tear gas to push back the surging crowd. Stones, iron bars and bottles were hurled in response.

Firefighters dealt with a blaze at the offices of the ruling AK Party in Turkey’s third largest city, Izmir.
Graffiti had been scrawled on walls and several windows of nearby buildings had been smashed.

Several hundred people have been detained after police raided a shopping centre in the capital Ankara where demonstrators were sheltering.

The protests were sparked by a violent police crackdown on a peaceful sit-in to prevent the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul and have since spread around the country.

Health officials say 484 protesters have been treated in hospital since Friday. Media reports quote Interior Minister Muammer Guler as saying have been more than 200 demonstrations in 67 cities. More than 1,700 people have been arrested.