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Turkish protests continue as pro-government rallies planned

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Turkish protests continue as pro-government rallies planned


Hundreds of protesters continue to occupy Gezi Park in Istanbul, despite calls by the Turkish Prime Minister for them to withdraw.

On Saturday morning, the Taksim Platform group put out a statement saying they would continue with the sit-in until their demands are met. The list includes calls for arrested protesters to be released, police to be punished for any violence and the future of the park to be guaranteed.

Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan told protesters on Friday that he would put redevelopment plans on hold until a court ruled on it.

Protesters, however, say they do not trust him.

“We do not have any confidence in (Turkish Prime Minister) Recep 
Tayyip Erdogan nor Mayor Huseyin Avni Mutlu. The Istanbul 
Mayor said that they would not attack but they did. They are playing games with us here,” said one man.

In Ankara on Saturday, police detained dozens of protesters who had gathered on the streets. Water cannons and smoke grenades were used to disperse the protest.

The Turkish Prime Minister has called for pro-government rallies to be held this weekend, one in Ankara on Saturday and another in Istanbul on Sunday.

The unprecedented wave of protest against Erdogan and his AK Party began after a police crackdown on peaceful campaigners in the park two weeks ago.

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