Skirmishes in Turkey after police storm Istanbul square

By REUTERS
June 12, 2013 06:11




ISTANBUL - Turkish riot police fought running battles with pockets of protesters overnight after storming a central Istanbul square in a show of force that risked ratcheting up tensions almost two weeks after anti-government demonstrations began.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly dismissed the demonstrators as "riff-raff", was expected to meet protest leaders on Wednesday though one core group said it had not been invited and would not attend anyway.

Police fired volleys of tear gas canisters into the center of a crowd of thousands on Taksim Square without warning at dusk on Tuesday. The crowd included people in office clothes gathered after work and families with children, as well as youths in masks who had fought skirmishes throughout the day.


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