News / Europe

Police Arrest Dozens Across Turkey

Erdem Gunduz (C) stands in a silent protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul early June 18, 2013.
Erdem Gunduz (C) stands in a silent protest at Taksim Square in Istanbul early June 18, 2013.
VOA News
Turkish media say police have conducted raids and arrested dozens of people suspected of involvement in nearly three weeks of anti-government protests.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency says at least 25 people were detained Tuesday in the capital, Ankara, while many others were arrested in Istanbul and Izmir.

Earlier, Turkish police arrested several people holding a silent protest in Istanbul's Taksim Square.

Turkey has seen violent anti-government protests in several cities across the country for nearly three weeks.

The government said Monday it may use the army to help stop the protests, if police power is not enough.

Two major Turkish trade unions, representing hundreds of thousands of workers, held a nationwide strike Monday against the police crackdown on Gezi Park demonstrators.

Most of the strikes were peaceful, but riot police faced off briefly Monday with about 1,000 trade union workers in Ankara.

Small-scale clashes with protesters occurred in Istanbul on the sidelines of a demonstration called by labor groups.

On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the street protests were manipulated by "terrorists." He dismissed opposition allegations that he was behaving like a dictator.

Protests that started nearly three weeks ago against government plans to tear down the park for new construction quickly built into nationwide protests against Mr. Erdogan. The demonstrators accuse him of imposing his conservative Islamic views on the country.

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