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Thousands Hold Anti-Government Protests in Turkey



Thousands of Turkish protesters took the streets Saturday for a ninth day, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call to end the anti-government demonstrations.

The demonstrators settled into Istanbul's central Taksim Square for several more days of protests. They raised signs urging Mr. Erdogan to step down.

Protesters clashed with riot police on the outskirts of Istanbul overnight.

The protest-related violence has killed at least two people, wounded thousands and led to thousands of arrests.

The protests were sparked more than a week ago by government plans to tear down a public park in Istanbul for new construction. Mr. Erdogan has refused to scrap those plans.

Demonstrations have also taken place in other major Turkish cities, including the capital, Ankara. The protesters accuse Mr. Erdogan of imposing his conservative Islamic views on a secular nation, and are angry at what they see as his authoritarian government.



On Friday, the European Union told Turkey use of excessive police force has no place in a democracy. During the protests, police have used tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators.

The government has apologized for the use of force.
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