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Turkey PM warns of police crackdown on protest anniversary

Published on May 31, 2014 9:36 PM
 
Pigeons roam around an empty Taksim Square on May 31, 2014, after police closed off access to the square during the one year anniversary of the Gezi Park and Taksim Square demonstrations. Turkey's combative prime minister warned protesters that police would do "whatever is necessary" to clamp down on demonstrations Saturday in Istanbul's Taksim Square to mark the anniversary of last year's turmoil. -- PHOTO: AFP

ISTANBUL (AFP) - Turkey's combative prime minister warned protesters that police would do "whatever is necessary" to clamp down on demonstrations Saturday in Istanbul's Taksim Square to mark the anniversary of last year's turmoil.

As police deployed some 25,000 officers as well as dozens of water cannon trucks and armoured vehicles to prevent would-be demonstrators from reaching the square, Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed tough anti-protest measures.

"I am calling on all my people. Do not be deceived. This is not an environmentalist campaign. There is no sincerity here," Mr Erdogan told thousands of supporters at an Istanbul rally.

"If you go there, our security forces have received clear-cut instructions and will do whatever is necessary from A to Z," said the premier.

 
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