Tuesday 12 December 2017

Erdogan defends stand on protests

People gather to react as Turkish riot police spray water cannon at demonstrators in Istanbul (AP)
People gather to react as Turkish riot police spray water cannon at demonstrators in Istanbul (AP)
A protester reacts as riot police spray water cannon at demonstrators who remained defiant after authorities evicted activists from an Istanbul park (AP)
Turkish riot police chase protesters who remained defiant after authorities evicted activists from an Istanbul park (AP)
A man falls injured as Turkish riot police spray water cannon at demonstrators (AP)
A protester holds up a banner with photos of three victims killed during protests in Turkey (AP)

Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he carried out his "duty" by deploying riot police who evicted thousands of activists behind an 18-day sit-in at an Istanbul park that had become a centre of protests against his 10 years in office.

In a thunderous speech to hundreds of thousands of supporters in western Istanbul, Mr Erdogan also railed against foreign media coverage and social media amid criticism over his government's handling of the protests.

Meanwhile, about six miles away in the centre of the city, riot police were firing tear gas and water cannon against protesters and stone-throwing youths.

Protesters are angry over the eviction of overwhelmingly peaceful activists at Gezi Park who oppose government plans to rip down its trees and erect a replica Ottoman-era barracks.

Press Association

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