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Thousands Across Turkey Protest Erdogan’s Autocratic Style

By Selcan Hacaoglu - 2013-06-03T10:56:39Z

Photograph by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

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Protests Across Turkey

Protesters across Turkey focused their anger on Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a weekend of violent clashes that may undermine the premier’s efforts to overhaul the political system and create a strong presidency that opponents say is tailored to his own ambitions.

Tens of thousands poured onto the streets in Istanbul for a rally sparked by plans to redevelop a park, which quickly spread to other cities and broadened to target what demonstrators say is the Islamist-rooted Erdogan’s autocratic style. Their grievances include police brutality, curbs on alcohol sales and labor unions, and the jailing of army officers and journalists on charges of plotting against the government. The unrest sent Turkish financial markets plunging at the open today.

Left, a man looks on during clashes with Turkish police in Istanbul, early on June 3, 2013