News / Middle East

Erdogan Agrees to Meet with Turkish Protesters

FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (r) and his deputy Bulent Arinc, Oct. 1, 2012.
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (r) and his deputy Bulent Arinc, Oct. 1, 2012.
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VOA News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has agreed to meet with anti-government protesters, even after saying his patience with the marchers is running thin.

His deputy prime minister, Bulent Arinc, says the meeting will take place Wednesday. Arinc also warned Monday that what he calls "illegal demonstrations" will no longer be allowed in Turkey.

The protesters refused to back down Monday, even as police again used tear gas and water cannons to break up an anti government march in Istanbul. Demonstrators responded with rocks and gasoline bombs.

Three people have died since the marches began 11 days ago. Thousands have been hurt and thousands of others arrested.

The opposition party accuses Erdogan of fueling tensions and dragging the country into fire.

The protests started against plans to tear down a public park in Istanbul. They have since turned into protests against what marchers call the prime minister's imposition of his Islamist views on a secular nation.

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