Death toll rises to 5 in Turkey protests

Death toll rises to 5 in Turkey protests
Thu Jun 13, 2013 16:25:52

The death toll from clashes between anti-government protesters and police in Turkey has reached five as Turkey's prime minister ordered that "troublemakers" be removed from Istanbul's Taksim Square within 24 hours.

Reports say a 26-year-old protester, Ether Sarisuluk, who was wounded by police forces on June 1 died on Thursday.

The victim was reportedly hit in the head with a tear gas canister in the capital, Ankara.

Police have at times fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters; five people have died and over 5,000 have been injured.

While lashing out at the European Parliament over their planned resolution that condemns the excessive use of force by the police, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that he asked for the park to be cleared of "troublemakers" within 24 hours. "We will clean the square," he said.

Erdogan's comments came a day after his Justice and Development party proposed a referendum over a development plan at the square that has fanned the protests.

He also lashed out at the European Parliament over its resolution that expressed its concern over "the disproportionate and excessive use of force by the Turkish police." The resolution also "deplores the reactions of the Turkish Government and of Prime Minister Erdogan." It accuses Erdogan of adding to the polarization of the situation.

In comments that drew broad applause, Erdogan thundered: "I won't recognize the decision that the European Union Parliament is going to take about us … Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?"

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