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Turks dig in for weekend of protests

Turks dig in for weekend of protests
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The fires of protest in Turkey have not been extinguished. In Istanbul’s Gazi district demonstrators threw petrol bombs at anti-riot police raising fears the clashes could intensify over the weekend.

In the city’s Taksim square activists spent last night in a makeshift protest camp sleeping in tents and vandalised buses. The protesters who insist theirs is a peaceful demonstration have built barricades to protect themselves against any potential police action.

“We are not fighting for something, we are just seeking peace. We are just seeking our rights, that’s all. This is Ataturk’s country and we believe in something really deep,” explained Ebur Sarikaya a protester in Taksim Square.

So far there has been no indication from the authorities if they plan to remove the tented protest camp.

In the capital Ankara thousands took to the streets defying prime minister Tayyip Erdogan’s call for an immediate end to the protests. Kizilay square was the venue where workers gathered to demand better working conditions and call on the government to release detained protesters.

The prime minister remains defiant in the face of the worst unrest in Turkey for decades. One media source in the country has reported his AK party executive could discuss the possibility of calling early elections when it meets today. It is thought party rules could also be changed to allow Erdogan to seek a fourth term as prime minister rather running for president.