Turkish riot police operate through night to clear Taksim

By REUTERS
June 12, 2013 09:10

ISTANBUL - Turkish riot police fought running battles with pockets of protesters overnight, clearing the central Istanbul square that has been the focus of nearly two weeks of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

By dawn, Taksim Square, strewn with wreckage from bulldozed barricades, was largely deserted and taxis crossed it for the first time since the troubles started. Several hundred remained in an encampment of tents in Gezi Park abutting the square.Erdogan, who has repeatedly dismissed the demonstrators as "riff-raff", was expected to meet a grouping of public figures about the protests on Wednesday. In the fighting talk that first endeared him to voters 10 years ago, he said on Tuesday he would not "kneel" before the protesters and that "this Tayyip Erdogan won't change".


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