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Monday
Jun242013

No Easing of Civil Unrest in Turkey

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- The situation in Turkey remains unsettled four weeks after a small protest against a park demolition in Istanbul fueled widespread dissent over fears that the secular Muslim country's government was moving toward authoritarianism.

In the Black Sea city of Samsun, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told thousands of supporters on Saturday that the demonstrators were playing into the hands of Turkey's enemies.

Erdogan, who still has the support of Turkey's majority according to public opinion polls, suggested that those protesting against his government were being disrespectful toward Islam and affecting the tourist trade by damaging the nation's reputation.

Meanwhile in Istanbul, an estimated 10,000 people returned to Taksim Square -- which had become the de facto headquarters for the movement -- for the first time since they were driven out earlier in the week.

They came to pay tribute to the four people who have died during the protests.  There have been at least 7,500 reported injuries from clashes with riot police.

The gathering in Taksim Square didn't last long as police again turned water cannons on to clear the area.

Those upset with Erdogan allege he's rolling back civil rights, including clamping down on the sale of alcohol.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio