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Riot police have entered Istanbul’s Taksim Square, where Turkish anti-government protesters have been staging demonstrations for close to two weeks.
Hundreds of officers have been using tear gas and water cannon to disperse activists.
The move comes after PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to meet the protest organizers on Wednesday.
The unrest was sparked by a police crackdown on a local protest over an Istanbul park.
Riot police have entered Istanbul’s Taksim Square, where Turkish anti-government protesters have been staging demonstrations for close to two weeks
The protests then widened, with demonstrators accusing Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of becoming increasingly authoritarian and trying to impose conservative Islamic values on a secular state.
Backed by armored vehicles, police wearing helmets and carrying shields gathered around the square early on Tuesday.
They then began to move past barricades erected by protesters.
According to correspondents, the move is a deliberate show of force.
The demonstrations are now in their 12th day, with activists controlling much of Taksim Square.
The unrest was sparked after police moved to suppress environmental protests over the redevelopment of Gezi Park, which is part of Taksim Square, on May 31.
More than 5,000 people have been injured and three people have died since the protests began.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc has apologized to protesters injured in demonstrations opposing the demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park.
The original protests over the redevelopment of Gezi Park were “just and legitimate”, he said, offering to meet the organizers.
Bulent Arinc called for the protests to end, saying they had been taken over by “terrorist elements”.
The protests have escalated into five days of unrest in cities across Turkey.
“The use of excessive force shown against the people who initially started this protest with the motive of protecting the environment was wrong. And it was unfair. So I apologize to those citizens,” Bulent Arinc said at a news conference in Ankara.
However, he added: “I do not think we need to apologize to those who create destruction of public property in the streets and who try to prevent the freedom of the people in the streets.”
PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a tougher line with protesters in his public comments, saying they are undemocratic.
He went ahead with a trip to Morocco and, speaking after his arrival there, insisted the situation was “calming down”.
“On my return from this visit, the problems will be solved,” he told reporters.
One union federation has begun a two-day strike in support of the protests.
The left-wing Kesk trade union confederation, representing some 240,000 workers, accused the government of committing “state terror”.
A second death in the protests has been confirmed by officials the southern city of Antakya.
Abdullah Comert, 22, a member of the youth wing of the opposition Republican People’s Party, was “seriously wounded… after gunfire from an unidentified person,” the governor’s office said, adding that he died later in hospital.
On Monday, the Turkish Doctors’ Union said 20-year-old Mehmet Ayvalitas was hit by a car on Sunday which ignored warnings to stop and ploughed into a crowd of protesters in the Mayis district of Istanbul.
Deputy PM Bulent Arinc has apologized to protesters injured in demonstrations opposing the demolition of Gezi Park
Hundreds of protesters were reported to have gathered in the early hours of Tuesday in Ankara where they were police used more tear gas and water cannon.
Share values in Turkey were hit badly by the unrest on Monday, with the main share index falling by 10.47%, although it did recover some of the losses in early trading on Tuesday.
In a sign of continuing concern in Washington, US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke of “excessive use of force” by the police.
“We obviously hope that there will be a full investigation of those incidents and full restraint from the police force,” he said.
The protests began on May 28 over plans to redevelop Gezi Park near Taksim Square in Istanbul.
They soon mushroomed, engulfing several cities and including political demands.
Unrest was also reported on Sunday in the western coastal city of Izmir, Adana in the south and Gaziantep in the south-east.
Protesters accuse the Turkish government of becoming increasingly authoritarian.
They fear Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) is trying to impose conservative Islamic values on the officially secular country and infringe on their personal freedoms, correspondents say.
His opponents see moves such as recent restrictions on the sale of alcohol and legislation last year which allowed children to enter Islamic schools at a younger age as proof of this agenda.
An investigation into hundreds of coup plot suspects has also been seen as undermining the influence of the military, which has traditionally considered itself as guarantor of the country’s secular constitution.
However, supporters of Recep Tayyip Erdogan point to the fact that he has been elected with a convincing majority, and that many Turks still back him.
- The demolition of Gezi Park – the issue which sparked Turkey protests – is a part of a wider urban redevelopment project in Istanbul
- The government wants to pedestrianise and ease traffic around Taksim Square; Kalyon Group, a company which has close ties with the government, has been contracted to carry out the project
- The project also includes building a shopping centre which PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan says would not be “a traditional mall”, but rather would include cultural centres, an opera house and a mosque
- The plan also includes rebuilding an Ottoman-era military barracks near the site and demolishing the historic Ataturk Cultural Centre
- The government has been making ambiguous and inconsistent statements about the project, which is causing concern among protesters who oppose replacing the green city park with grey concrete
South African police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters near a mine owned by Anglo American Platinum, a day after a deal ended a strike in Marikana.
“We are not tolerating any illegal gatherings,” a police spokesman said.
Workers at the Lonmin-owned Marikana platinum mine ended their six-week strike after accepting a 22% pay rise.
The strikes have spread to other mines in South Africa, one of the world’s biggest producers of precious metals.
On Monday, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma said that the disruption had cost the industry $548 million in lost output.
The unrest came as Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), the world’s largest platinum producer, re-opened its mines after they were closed last week following huge protests.
South African police have fired rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters near a mine owned by Anglo American Platinum
Amplats spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole said the mines in Rustenburg, the centre of South Africa’s platinum mining – about 80 km (50 miles) north-east of Johannesburg – were operational.
She said the police had “dispersed a group of people gathering illegally at Sondela informal settlement [near the mine]” and said it was not clear if they were Amplats workers.
“Police utilized tear gas and stun grenades, and rubber bullets were used at the squatter camp,” said police spokesman Captain Dennis Adriao.
“As we have said, we are not tolerating any illegal gatherings,” he said.
After weeks of unrest, the government last week announced that it would clamp down on the protests.
In the nearby Marikana mine, where police last month shot dead 34 protesters, workers were celebrating the end of the strike, reports the AP news agency.
Riddick Mofokeng, another miner, said he felt good about the deal.
“It is not what we expected to get, but it is great,” he said.
“Most of the people, we are ready to go back to work.”
The miners had been demanding a monthly salary of 12,500 rand ($1,513) – they currently earn between 4,000 and 5,000 rand.
As well as a pay rise of 11-22%, they will get a one-off payment of 2,000 rand to help cover the weeks of not being paid while they were on strike.
Analysts had warned that the Lonmin deal could encourage other mines to down tools to obtain pay hikes.
Some 15,000 miners at Gold Fields remain on strike.
Last month, police opened fire on demonstrators at the mine in Marikana, killing 34 striking workers. Ten people, including two police officers, had already died in the protests.
President Jacob Zuma has ordered a judicial inquiry into what has become known as the “Marikana massacre” – the deadliest police action since the end of apartheid in 1994.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was targeted by protesters who threw tomatoes and their own shoes at her motorcade during a visit to Egypt on Sunday.
Demonstrators also mockingly chanted “Monica, Monica” in reference to Bill Clinton’s extra-marital affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Hillary Clinton was on her first trip to Egypt since the election of the country’s new Islamist President, Mohammed Mursi.
During the protests in Alexandria, a tomato struck an Egyptian official in the face, and shoes and a water bottle landed near the armored cars carrying Hillary Clinton’s aides.
Hillary Clinton was targeted by protesters who threw tomatoes and their own shoes at her motorcade during a visit to Egypt
A senior State Department official said that neither Hillary Clinton nor her vehicle, which were around the corner from the incident, were struck by any of the projectiles.
As well as the shouts of “Monica”, some demonstrators chanted, “Leave, Clinton”.
The assault on her motorcade came on the day Hillary Clinton spoke at the newly re-opened U.S. consulate in Alexandria, addressing accusations that the U.S., which had long supported former president Hosni Mubarak, was meddling in Egyptian politics.
“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which of course we cannot,” Hillary Clinton said.
Protesters against Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin have clashed with police in the capital Moscow, ahead of his inauguration on Monday for a third term.
The protest was peaceful until a small group of demonstrators tried to break through the lines of riot police.
Opposition activists Alexei Navalny, Sergei Udaltsov and Boris Nemtsov have all been detained.
A rival demonstration in support of Vladimir Putin has also been taking place.
Organizers said about 20,000 people took part in the opposition march – to an island close to the Kremlin – although police put the figure at about 8,000.
Alexei Navalny urged protesters not to disperse until those arrested had been released.
Protesters against Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin have clashed with police in the capital Moscow, ahead of his inauguration on Monday for a third term
Speaking to a radio station by phone from a police van, Alexei Navalny also told the protesters to insist that the authorities carry out the reforms they have promised.
Police have been blocking the protesters from crossing a bridge over the Moscow River.
Clashes broke out when more people crowded towards the bridge and riot police wielding batons pushed demonstrators back towards the rally site, witnesses said.
Protesters launched a sit-in by the police lines.
They were refusing to leave unless Vladimir Putin’s inauguration was cancelled. They were also demanding an hour of TV airtime and new elections, our correspondent says.
Dozens of protesters are said to have been arrested.
TV images then showed police storming the stage of the rally where left-wing activist Sergei Udaltsov had been addressing protesters, and taking him to a waiting vehicle.
Before he was seized, Sergei Udaltsov had called for the inauguration to be cancelled and said through a loud-hailer: “We will not leave.”
The crowd chanted back: “We are the power.”
Russia’s Interfax news agency later reported that Alexei Navalny – an anti-corruption blogger and nationalist – had been arrested and Dozhd TV tweeted that liberal politician Boris Nemtsov had also been detained at the rally.