NEWS

Turkey Protests: Government Threatens To Use Army Against Future Taksim Square Unrest

17/06/2013 16:17 | Updated 17 June 2013

The Turkish government will deploy military troops should rioting return to Istanbul, according to Bulent Arinc.

Speaking to state-run TV on Monday, the deputy prime minister warned protesters that any further unrest could see the Islamic-leaning government use its armed forces.

taksim square

Taksim Square on Monday, a day after riot police cleared the area of protesters

Arinc told the broadcaster that the demonstrations have now “completely ended”, adding that any further protests would be "immediately suppressed". In a rally on Sunday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his oft-heard line that the demonstrators were being influenced by terrorists and outside forces.

The unrest, which has raged for more than three weeks, started as a protest over the redevelopment of Gezi Park on Taksim Square, Istanbul. However following a police crackdown, which included the use of tear gas, the movement spread nationwide, with thousands calling for an end to the police brutality, as well as launching protests against the increasing islamisation of the hitherto secular state.

On Sunday, riot police cordoned off streets, set up roadblocks and fired tear gas and water cannons to prevent anti-government protesters from returning to the Square.

At least four people have been killed and more than 5,000 arrested since the unrest began, with Turkish police making around 500 arrests.

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