Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has followed up last night’s pledge to end the protests in Istanbul within the next 24 hours with an announcement that this was the protesters’ “final warning” to abandon their demonstrations outright.
The protests show no signs of letting up, despite multiple days of escalating police violence against them. The death toll has now risen to five, with thousands of people injured in the crackdowns.
“We have arrived at the end of our patience,” Erdogan told party leaders in the capital city of Ankara, and angrily lashed the EU for criticizing police violence against demonstrators by declaring “who do you think you are by taking such a decision?”
Police has repeatedly demolished barricades set up in Taksim Square and the nearby park, and have fired so much tear gas around the area that there seems to be a more or less permanent cloud in central Istanbul, traveling with the prevailing wind. Braving rubber bullets and stun grenades, the protesters have simply donned gas masks and continued on.