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Turkish protesters set up tent camp in Ankara

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Turkish protesters set up tent camp in Ankara


Turkish protesters’ occupation of public spaces extended to Ankara overnight as tents sprang up in the capital in Kugulu square.

Police attempted to remove the camp, but met with resistance, and after 10 days of protests that originally began as a local reaction in Istanbul to try and prevent the loss of inner-city green space, the opposition to the government has now spread to several cities.

In Istanbul in and around Taksim square and Gezi park the occupation continues, and hopes have faded that the prime minister will establish a dialogue with them.

After his supporters rallied for him in Ankara on Sunday Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to abandon his earlier offer for talks, and insist the only opposition he would tolerate would be electoral, not street protests.

“We can only be put into question by the people of Turkey, not marginal groups. And they can only challenge us in the ballot boxes,” he thundered.

Sunday night was the third in a row of clashes with police, who drove a crowd back from near Ankara’s American embassy with tear gas and water cannon and had to deal with “flash” protests elsewhere, too.

Istanbul and Izmir also saw protests. In total 78 Turkish cities and towns have now seen unrest, and some have seen Erdogan supporters come out to clash with the protesters.

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