The number of those arrested or injured in anti-government protests in Turkey has entered the thousands and the unrest has spread to half of the country's 81 provinces, a government official said yesterday, the Guardian reports. (Turkish media is reporting that 67 provinces have seen protests.) The protests—which began over plans to redevelop an Istanbul park and have snowballed into the largest anti-government demonstrations in years—are now in their fourth day and they have turned violent in cities including Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir, Reuters reports.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose shift toward authoritarianism after a decade in charge is the target of much of the rage, has dismissed the protesters as looters and bums and vowed that the park will be demolished, the New York Times reports. He blames the unrest on an opposition party—and on social media. "There is now a menace which is called Twitter," he said last night on Turkish television, which has mostly avoided covering the protests. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society."