Police use tear gas, water cannon to break up protesters in Istanbul

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Turkish police have confronted hundreds of anti-government protesters trying to hold a fresh demonstration at Istanbul’s iconic Taksim square.

On Saturday, police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters. Witnesses said several people were injured and dozens arrested during the police crackdown.

Over the past couple of weeks, tens of thousands of anti-government protesters held demonstrations in dozens of cities across the country.

According to the Turkish police, around 2.5 million people have taken to the streets in nearly 80 cities for three weeks to demand the resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The unrest in Turkey began on May 31 after police broke up a sit-in held at Taksim Square in protest at the demolition of Istanbul’s Gezi Park.

So far, five people have been killed and more than 8,000 injured in the unrest.

The protesters say Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is one of Istanbul’s last green public spaces.

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