Police renew sweep through Istanbul square

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ISTANBUL It's been a violent scene in Turkey's capital, where the government is giving another sign that it may have run out of patience with protesters following 12 days of unrest.

Thousands of defiant protesters swarmed back into a square in central Istanbul -- and they were met by riot police firing tear gas and water cannons.

Amid the confrontation, several fires burned in the square. Protesters set off fireworks, threw stones and waved banners.

As helmeted officers moved forward, water cannons drenched a man in a wheelchair carrying a Turkish flag. Plainclothes officers in gas masks were seen yanking down banners.

Several people were placed into ambulances.

Earlier today, many of the protesters fled into an adjacent park, where hundreds have been camping out. The protest began as an effort to stop developers from cutting down trees in that park.

The country's prime minister (Recep Tayyip Erdogan -- REH'-jehp TY'-ihp UR'-doh-wahn) today warned protesters, "It's over." He said he has "no tolerance" for the demonstrations.

The unrest has spread to 78 cities across Turkey. It's inspired in part by what some see as the prime minister's increasingly authoritarian style of governing. There are also fears that he's trying to impose a religious and conservative lifestyle in a country with secular laws.

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