(ISTANBUL) — Protesters continued demonstrations in a number of major cities in Turkey on Sunday, voicing frustration with authoritarianism and urging the government to resign after violence was used on peaceful demonstrators earlier this week.
The protests began after demonstrators protesting the destruction of Istanbul’s Gezi Park were confronted with police violence on Friday. Since then, protests against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have broken out in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir. Many Turks accuse Erdogan of growing authoritarianism and spearheading Islamization.
Erdogan gave a defiant speech on Saturday in which he said that he could turn out one million people to the streets to defend him and that the true cause of violence was extremists among the protesters.
USA Today reports that over 933 people in 90 separate protests across the nation had been arrested in connection with the protests as of Saturday, but that some had been released.
In addition to the unpopular construction of a mall on the site of Gezi park, Erdogan has also created stringent restrictions on alcohol in the past month. He also recently stated publicly that women should have a minimum of three children, says USA Today.
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Tiffany Ap and Brian Todd, CNN Newswire
Barbara Starr, Jim Sciutto, Jim Acosta, Stephen Collinson and Tom LoBianco, CNN Newswire