- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2013

Police will remove protesters from Istanbul’s Taksim Square within the next 24 hours, said Turkey’s prime minister on Thursday, in a blunt warning that marks the end of the government’s patience with a weeks-long rally that’s escalated into violence.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued the order on the heels of a particularly violent clash between riot police and protesters that raised the death toll from the two-week standoff from one to five, The Associated Press reported.

A total of 620 — including a 1-year-old baby — have been injured in recent days, as police have tried to control crowds with tear gas and water cannons, CBS reported.

The protests started on May 31 over a development plan for a popular park. But the rallies quickly took a turn to target Mr. Erdogn’s government, perceived by some as taking an authoritarian approach to impose Islamic principles in a nation that prides itself on more secular rule. Mr. Erdogan heads the Justice and Development Party, which also holds most of the seats in Turkey’s national assembly.

As a concession to park protesters, Mr. Erdogan also announced that the ruling party will hold a referendum on the plans to develop Gezi Park into a shopping mall, BBC reported.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times is switching its third-party commenting system from Disqus to Spot.IM. You will need to either create an account with Spot.im or if you wish to use your Disqus account look under the Conversation for the link "Have a Disqus Account?". Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide