Half of Turkey's Provinces Protesting
Arrest, injuries mount as unrest enters 4th day
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2013 4:16 AM CDT
Updated Jun 3, 2013 5:52 AM CDT
Protesters clash with police in Istanbul last night.   (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(Newser) – 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."

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Jun 3, 2013 10:38 PM CDT
1 June 2013 Turkish press slams handling of Istanbul protests ISMET BERKAN in pro-secular liberal daily RADIKAL Thousands of people who never resorted to any sort of violence and who did nothing more than sit and chant slogans... were being suffocated with tear gas... They are not insects, they are citizens. They are not the enemy of the police, they are citizens to whom service and security need to be provided... Unfortunately, the police not only considered citizens as enemies, but also treated them as insects and sprayed gas on them. RUSEN CAKIR in pro-secular daily VATAN All across the world, if a state uses extreme force against its citizens, then this has always been seen as proof of its own weakness and its wrongdoing. If the state believed it was right, then it would send politicians and/or local officials instead of the police to persuade the public. USA Secretary of State, John Kerry described Erdogan's response to the protestors as 'state terror.' Where was John when Occupy Wall Street protestors were arrested, batoned, tased, pepper sprayed, tear gassed, and maced?
Jun 3, 2013 6:11 PM CDT
Such a small country and so many provinces (81 and counting)!
Jun 3, 2013 9:51 AM CDT
"The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society." Facebook: (rubbing hands together with malevolent look on face) Excellent, Mwa ha ha ha bwaa ha ha ha ha ha (evil laugh)