LIVE BLOG: Turkey unrest enters fourth day
Dozens injured as clashes erupt in Istanbul between police and protesters, man killed after taxi drives into crowd; Kerry calls for full restraint by Turkish police.
Dozens were injured early on Monday in the latest round of clashes between Turkish police and anti-government protesters in Istanbul. A 20-year-old man was killed after a taxi drove into the crowd, becoming the first confirmed fatality since the protests broke out.
The clashes entered their fourth day as Turkish police forces used tear gas to break up protests. Some 939 people were arrested in more than 90 separate demonstrations around the country, including the country's four biggest cities.
Since clashes erupted Friday, 1,000 people have been wounded in Istanbul and several hundred more in Ankara, according to medics.
Amnesty International referred to reports of two deaths in the protest on Sunday, but that information could not be confirmed.
The unrest was triggered by protests against government plans to build replica Ottoman-era barracks to house shops or apartments in Taksim, long a venue for political protest. But it has widened into a broader show of defiance against Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP).
00:48 A.M. Anti-government protesters responsible for Turkey's worst riots in years are "arm-in-arm with terrorism", Prime Minister Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan says.
"This is a protest organised by extremist elements," Erdogan said before departing on a trip to North Africa. "We will not give away anything to those who live arm-in-arm with terrorism."
On arrival in Rabat, flanked by Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane, Erdogan blamed parties that had lost elections for the violence, which he predicted would be short-lived: "In a few days the situation will return to normal." (Reuters)
00:01 A.M. Thousands fill Taksim square and the surrounding streets; spirits are high. (Anshel Pfeffer)
11:30 P.M. Tear gas so strong it is penetrating hotel lobby. (Anshel Pfeffer)
10:34 P.M. Protestors are taking shelter from tear gas inside the InterContinental Hotel near Taksim Square. (Anshel Pfeffer)
10:22 P.M. Erdogan rejects protesters' demands that he would resign. "The protests weren't about the squares or the trees, some parties were not happy about results of the elections," Erdogan said late Monday while on a visit to Morocco. "The situation is a lot calmer now and reason seems to be prevailing. I think things will return to normal. These demonstrations are not all over Turkey, just in some big cities."
10:03 P.M. More than 2,300 people have been wounded and one person killed during four days of fierce clashes between protesters and police in Turkey. 1,480 have been wounded in Istanbul, some 800 in the capital Ankara. (DPA)
9:54 P.M. A police helicopter hovering above using a spotlight is greeted by the protesters with thistles and obscene gestures. Firing of tear gas grenades sounds closer by the minute (Anshel Pfeffer)
9:47 P.M. Thousands of protesters are barricading roads leading to Besiktas, most of them wearing gas masks. First casualties are being led up the road from Beskitas to Taksim. (Anshel Pfeffer)
9:41 P.M. Hotels, restaurants around Taksim Square are prepared for a rough night, with piles of lemons and water bottles for tear gas victims. (Anshel Pfeffer)
9:30 P.M. Tear gas in Taksim Square appears to come from Besiktas district, where street fights are on again. (Anshel Pfeffer)
8:23 P.M. The White House has urged protesters and police in Turkey to refrain from violence, and said the U.S. would continue to work with Turkey on the conflict in Syria and other international issues. "We have concerns about some of the response, but we certainly expect the Turkish government to work through this," White House spokesman Jay Carney said when asked about the rioting that has spread since Friday, injuring hundreds of people in Turkey. Carney also stressed the need for Turkey to allow peaceful protests and said called for an investigation into the violence. (Reuters)
7:03 P.M. Concerned by the continued tension in Turkey, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called for restraint on Monday: "We are concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police. We obviously hope that there will be a full investigation of those incidents and full restraint from the police force," Kerry said in a rebuke to NATO ally Turkey, which is grappling with some of its most violent riots in decades. (Reuters)
5:43 P.M. As riot police used tear gas against protesters for a fourth straight day in Istanbul, Turkey's president and prime minister displayed wide differences Monday in their responses to those taking to the streets. (AP)
4:31 P.M. Turkey's main stock exchange dropped sharply on Monday, following the anti-government protests. The Borsa Istanbul 100 Index was down 8 percent by midafternoon as investors worried about the destabilizing effect of the demonstrations on the economy. (AP)
3:50 P.M. A 20-year-old Turkish man died when a taxi drove into a group of demonstrators on an Istanbul highway during an anti-government protest, Turkish doctors' association TBB said on Monday, the first known death related to the demonstrations. The protester was named as Mehmet Ayvalitas, and TBB board member Huseyin Demirduzen said four other people were also injured, one of them seriously.
01:00 P.M. Turkish President Abdullah Gul says peaceful demonstrations are part of democracy. In comments to reporters, Gul called on people to remain calm and said the "necessary messages" from the protests had been noted. He said illegal groups should not be allowed to get involved. (Reuters)
12:40 P.M. Demonstrations starting up again in Taksim Square. (Anshel Pfeffer)
11:32 A.M. Turkish PM Erdogan calls for calm and urges people not to be provoked by demonstrations he said had been organized by "extremist elements." In a news conference at Istanbul airport, before departing on an official visit to Morroco, Erdogan said: "Be calm, relax, all this will be overcome.. The fact the AK Party has increased its votes at three elections in a row and has successfully won two referendums shows how the people of this nation have embraced the AK Party." (Reuters)
11:27 A.M. Turkey's main stock exchange drops sharply on opening Monday. (AP)
11:09 A.M. The private Dogan news agency said police fired tear gas at a group of protesters in an area close to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Istanbul offices on Monday morning. (AP)
09:40 A.M. Many people in Taksim Square on their way to work and school, about 200 protesters and a few barricades, no police in sight. (Anshel Pfeffer)
08:30 A.M. Streets are calm after a night of noisy protests and violence in major cities. (Reuters)
06:50 A.M. Protesters clash with riot police into the early hours of Monday with some setting fire to offices of the ruling AKP Party in the western port city of Izmir. (Reuters)
06:00 A.M. Police raid a shopping complex in the center of Ankara where they believed demonstrators were sheltering, detaining several hundred. (Reuters)
04:50 A.M. The White House issues call for all parties in Turkey to "calm the situation," requesting the security forces in particular to "exercise restraint." In a statement, spokeswoman Laura Lucas says the U.S. believes peaceful public demonstrations "are a part of democratic expression," and that Turkey's long-term stability is best guaranteed by upholding "the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association."
00:25 P.M. Hundreds of protestors still in, restaurants are full and every bit of stone and metal being used to barricade streets (Anshel Pfeffer)
11:45 P.M. Police push back kids with massive volleys of tear gas. Casualties taken to treatment centre in Bezmi Alem Valide Sultam Mosque (Anshel Pfeffer)
11:30 P.M. Pitched street battle between young protestors with rocks and sticks and police with water cannons and tear gas by Besiktas Stadium. (Anshel Pfeffer)
22:54 P.M. At Taksim Square, tens of thousands of protesters celebrate into the night, with no police forces in sight.
22:30 P.M. Rumours of planned police attack on Taksim Square coming from Besiktas. Young men manning the barricades in streets leading to square. Meanwhile, thousands of masked teenagers are fighting police forces on the road leading from Taksim Square to the Bosphorus. Youths are trying to erect makeshift road blocks and set car tires alight. Turkish police respond by firing heavy tear gas. Protesters fear police are planning to climb up the mountain and break into Taksim Square, despite promises not to do so. (Anshel Pfeffer)
10:00 P.M. Police fire tear gas in Ankara, Izmir, Adana (Reuters)
7:30 P.M. Syrian authorities, battling a rebel uprising in which 80,000 people have been killed, issued a travel warning advising its citizens against traveling to neighboring Turkey for safety reasons. "The demands of the Turkish people don't deserve all this violence," Information Minister Omran Zoabi says. "If Erdogan is unable to pursue non-violent means, he should resign."
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