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I have been exchanging messages today with a friend in Ankara who has been participating in the protests there over the last two weeks, including the first demonstrations in Gezi park.

My friend is a very well informed, thoughtful, active leader in the intellectual community in Turkey.  In his most recent message he describes thousands of demonstrators, standing motionless for hours in the streets.  He adds, "Today many unpleasant things happened, and a lot of tear gas again."  Here's a link to live reporting via Halkhaber TV:  www.halkhaber.tv If you speak Turkish, perhaps you can help translate and provide some further updates here.

Looking around the news sources, I do find these reports:

After week-long lull, police use water cannon in Istanbul's Taksim Square:

Turkish police used water cannon to disperse thousands who had gathered in Istanbul's central Taksim Square on Saturday to observe a memorial for four people killed during a wave of anti-government protests.

The police move, which was more restrained then previous times, came as the demonstrations had appeared to be subsiding in recent days, and as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared that foreign-led conspirators he alleges are behind the anti-government movement in his country also are fomenting the recent unrest in Brazil.

......

During an address to tens of thousands of his backers in the Black Sea coastal city of Samsun, the latest stop in a series of rallies he has called to shore up his political support, Erdogan declared that Brazil was the target of the same conspirators he claims are trying to destabilize Turkey.

"The same game is now being played over Brazil," Erdogan said. "The symbols are the same, the posters are the same, Twitter, Facebook are the same, the international media is the same. They (the protests) are being led from the same centre.

"They are doing their best to achieve in Brazil what they could not achieve in Turkey. It's the same game, the same trap, the same aim."

From the BBC:  Turkey's PM Erdogan and opponents hold mass rallies:
Mr Erdogan, who has become a hate figure for the protesters, initially appeared to want to placate his opponents, but later hardened his rhetoric.

On Saturday he told thousands of his supporters in the Black Sea city of Samsun how the protesters insulted Islam.

"Let them go into mosques in their shoes, let them drink alcohol in our mosques, let them raise their hand to our headscarved girls," he said.

"One prayer from our people is enough to frustrate their plans."

He also suggested an international conspiracy with financial interests that he termed the "interest-rate lobby" was behind the protests, though he did not elaborate.

......

In Taksim Square, thousands had gathered to once again call for Mr Erdogan's resignation.

They chanted slogans such as "Dictator Tayyip" and: "This is just the beginning."

......

By nightfall, hundreds of protesters continued to mill around on the edges of Taksim Square, with riot police occupying the central area.

The live tv link shows those milling crowds.

Originally posted to strobusguy on Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 01:15 PM PDT.

Also republished by More and Better Democracies.

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