Turkish PM Gives Protesters ‘Final Warning’

Created: 2013-06-14 14:31 EST

Category: World > Europe

A day after violent clashes, calm returns to Istanbul's Gezi Park where protesters have been camped out for almost two weeks.

But on Thursday Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan issued a stern ultimatum.
[Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish Prime Minister]:
"Nobody can invade the park. Therefore we have been patient till now but now patience is running out. This is my final warning. I am calling on mothers and fathers, please do something about your children."
The prime minister's words are likely to raise fears that another police crackdown is imminent.
Turkey has already received condemnation for its heavy handed response to the protests, with the EU calling on Erdogan's government to investigate cases of excessive force.
But demonstrators in Istanbul were defiant, despite the tear gas and water cannons they faced a day earlier.
[Tolga Tezmen, Protester]:
"If they will attack us, we will be in the other streets. If they force us to leave we will be in another district, then in another district. Istanbul is never ending. We are always here."
The protests in Istanbul were sparked by an unpopular redevelopment plan to destroy Gezi Park.
Following attempts to supress demonstrations, the protests grew into a movement against Erdogan's government and spread to other cities across Turkey.