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A protester is hit by a water cannon during clashes with riot police in Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

A protester pulls back the cord on a slingshot in Taksim Square in Istanbul as riot police re-entered Istanbul's protest square today, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators in a fresh escalation of unrest after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would meet with protest leaders.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP / Getty Images

A protester makes a "V" sign from behind a barrier while riot police use water cannon during clashes at Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KERIM OKTEN / EPA

Demonstrators wearing gas masks take cover behind a barricade during clashes between riot police and demonstrators in Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP / Getty Images

Riot police fire tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters at Istanbul's Taksim Square, the epicentre of nearly two weeks of antigovernment demonstrations.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

A protester hit by pressured water sprayed from riot police water cannon during clashes in Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KERIM OKTEN / EPA

A protester throws a stone at a police water cannon, as another holds a Turkish flag during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thanassis Stavrakis / Associated Press

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said three protesters and one police officer have been killed in nearly two weeks of nationwide unrest against his Islamic-rooted government.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters carry another protester affected by tear gas during clashes in Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kostas Tsironis / Associated Press

Turkey's crackdown on opposition protesters reportedly left more than 1,000 injured.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SEDAT SUNA / EPA

Protesters set fire to a van and a barricade as police water cannon operates during clashes at Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thanassis Stavrakis / Associated Press

Protesters during a demonstration at Gezi Park in Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: KERIM OKTEN / EPA

A protester reads leaflets at Taksim Square in Istanbul following days of demonstrations against the Turkish Islamic-rooted government.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

Residents walk by a glass door damaged during violence between demonstrators and Turkish police forces in recent days.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARCO LONGARI / AFP / Getty Images

The words 'Tayyip Fascist ' are carved into a watermelon at Gazi Park, next to Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

Young boys search a damaged bus at Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thanassis Stavrakis / Associated Press

Protesters demonstrate against Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP / Getty Images

A child wearing a mask walks in Gezi Park, near Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Kostas Tsironis / Associated Press

Turkish protesters clash with riot police in Taksim Square.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Associated Press

A man flashes a victory sign as people demonstrate in Ankara during protests against the ruling party, police brutality and the destruction of Taksim park for a development project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARCO LONGARI / AFP / Getty Images

Protestors clash with Turkish riot policemen on the way to Taksim Square in Istanbul. Turkey's Islamic-rooted government apologized today to wounded protestors and said it had "learned its lesson" after days of mass street demonstrations that have posed the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade in office.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP / Getty Images

A Turkish art group preforms in support of protestors at Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Protestors warm themselves by a fire as morning breaks at the Gezi park in Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

A demonstrator uses a flower as prop.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARCO LONGARI / AFP / Getty Images

A satirical poster of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is posted at Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: TOLGA BOZOGLU / EPA

Demonstrators clash with riot police in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Aris Messinis / AFP/Getty Images

A riot police officer fires tear gas during a clash with protesters.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bulent Kilic / AFP/Getty Images

Demonstrators try to extinguish a fire in Istanbul. What started as an outcry against a local development project has snowballed into widespread anger against what critics say is the government's increasingly conservative agenda and authoritarian tactics.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ARIS MESSINIS / AFP/Getty Images

Protesters attempt to put out a fire.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Uriel Sinai / Getty Images

Demonstrators, some waving the Turkish flag, protest in front of the prime minister's office in Ankara.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: MARCO LONGARI / AFP/Getty Images

A boy stands atop a damaged TV van in Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: TOLGA BOZOGLU / European Pressphoto Agency

Young protesters shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration in Ankara. Turkey's Islamic-rooted government said Tuesday it had "learned its lesson" and appealed for an end to mass street protests that have convulsed the country for days in the worst political crisis in a decade.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: ADEM ALTAN / AFP / Getty Images

Young Turks clash with security forces in Ankara. Protests in Istanbul and several other Turkish cities appear to have subsided, after days of fierce clashes following a police crackdown on a peaceful gathering.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Burhan Ozbilici / Associated Press

Protesters gather on Taksim Square, a day after Turkish police pulled out of Istanbul's iconic square following a second day of violent clashes between protesters and police over a controversial development project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP / Getty Images

Police use tear gas to disperse protesters outside Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's working office in Besiktas Istanbul, during a third day of clashes sparked by anger at his Islamist-rooted government.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: OZAN KOSE / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters damage police cars in Taksim Square during clashes with police .

PHOTOGRAPH BY: OZAN KOSE / AFP / Getty Images

Volunteer doctors help injured protesters inside a mosque during a clash with Turkish riot police as they try to reach the office of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan at Besiktas district in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: AHMET SIK / EPA

Protesters gather on Taksim Square, a day after Turkish police pulled out of Istanbul's iconic square following a second day of violent clashes between protesters and police over a controversial development project.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: BULENT KILIC / AFP / Getty Images

Protesters shout antigovernment slogans during a demonstration in Istanbul against the conservative government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: TOLGA BOZOGLU / EPA

High school students hold up a Turkish flag during a protest at Gezi Park of Taksim Square in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Thanassis Stavrakis / Associated Press

Activists sit inside of a damaged public bus after four days of demonstrations against the government in Istanbul.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: SEDAT SUNA / EPA

Protesters clash with riot police between Taksim and Besiktas in Istanbul during a demonstration against the demolition of the park.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: GURCAN OZTURK / AFP / Getty Images

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Unrest in Turkey continues

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[Updated -- June 11, 2013] Turkish police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters adorned in gas masks and slinging Molotov cocktails in central Taksim Square early Tuesday. The clashes marked the first major violence in the iconic square since scores of anti-government protesters occupied it more than a week ago.

Read story: Police storm Istanbul square, clash with protesters

[Updated -- June 4, 2013] Turkey’s deputy prime minister offered an apology Tuesday for a bruising police crackdown on antigovernment demonstrators as clashes between authorities and protesters appeared to diminish in a fifth day of nationwide unrest.

Police seemed to back off from their earlier aggressive use of tear gas and water cannons against people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, epicenter of the protest movement.

Read story: Turkey’s deputy prime minister apologizes for police crackdown

[Updated -- June 3, 2013] What began as local dispute about threatened green space in this metropolis has morphed into a nationwide movement protesting what critics say is the heavy-handed style and increasingly Islamist agenda of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After four days of protests, however, the staying power of a spontaneous movement lacking national leadership is far from clear. Erdogan retains substantial support, has his eyes on a run for president next year and seems unlikely to be forced from office.

Read story: Protests in Turkey focus on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

A weekend of protests left Turkey reeling, with thousands of dissidents taking to the streets after a brutal police crackdown, presenting the most cohesive challenge to the country’s leadership in its more than a decade in power.

Read story: Protests continue in Turkey, challenging Erdogan government

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