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Turkish protesters await the return of defiant premier

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Turkish protesters await the return of defiant premier


Protesters have continued their occupation of Istanbul’s Taksim Square but today they are waiting for one man.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been out of the country on a trip to North Africa but Thursday night he returns to growing calls for him to quit.

Before he left he had strongly condemned the protests calling them the work of extremists.

While Erdogan has been away his deputy has struck a more conciliatory tone and apologised for the initial police crackdown on peaceful campaigners opposing the redevelopment of Gezi Park. It was the heavy-handed police intervention which sparked the wave of anti-government protests.

While thousands have recently massed peacefully in Taksim, in the capital Ankara, police on Wednesday night once again used tear gas and water canon to disperse crowds after protesters erected barricades and set them on fire.

Over several nights of clashes two people have died and over 4,000 have been injured.

During his time away Erdogan has maintained his defiant mood over the protests despite calls for him to offer his own apology over the fierce police crackdown and for him to sack those who ordered it.

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