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Erdogan unmoved by static protest

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 - 01:44

June 19 - Turkey's prime minister defends police as upholders of democracy while demonstrators resort to silent protests. Paul Chapman reports.

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Protesters in Istanbul have adopted a new tactic in their battle with Turkey's ruling party. They stood in silence in Taksim Square on Tuesday. The silent standing protest was inspired by a lone man whose solitary eight hour stint in the same square has lit up social media websites. The eerie sight is in stark contrast to the clashes with police witnessed often during three weeks of unrest. Among the protesters there were differing reasons for taking part. (SOUNDBITE)(Turkish) GOKSIN NETAS, PROTESTER, SAYING: "We are not here just to demonstrate. We want to do something by remaining calm. We are not here to criticise a political party or support another one. We just want people to do the right thing and we also want Ataturk (founder of modern Turkey) to be remembered forever." (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) TURKISH PROTESTER, ONER ALBAS, SAYING: "We don't recognise the ruling AK Party any more. It is obvious, from their statements and the measures they have taken, that they have not understood the protests here." In Ankara where some 200 protesters gathered early on Wednesday there were more familiar scenes. Riot police moved in with water cannon but were initially blocked from advancing by a sit-in. Western nations have expressed concerns about police handling of the protests. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the police had taken a democratic stance in the face of violence from those he called terrorists, anarchists and rioters.

Erdogan unmoved by static protest

Wednesday, Jun 19, 2013 - 01:44

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