Turkish police fired tear gas Monday to disperse protestors massing near Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Istanbul office in a fourth night of clashes sparked by demonstrations against his rule, AFP reporters saw.
Thousands of other protestors gathered on Taksim Square, the symbolic heart of the protests that erupted into violent clashes on Friday and have spread to cities across the country.
Erdogan, who’s on a visit to Morocco, said the situation in his country is “now calming down” despite a fourth day of violent protests against his rule.
“The situation in my country is now calming down... On my return from this visit, the problems will be solved," Erdogan told a news conference in Rabat.
According to AP, the White House has urged demonstrators and police to refrain from violence and said the United States would continue to work with Turkey on the conflict in Syria and other international issues.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Turkey need to allow for peaceful protest and has called for an investigation into the recent hostilities.
Earlier in the day a young demonstrator was killed in Istanbul by a car that rammed into a crowd during a wave of demonstrations, a medics’ union said on Monday.
The car killed Mehmet Ayvalitas, a member of a left-wing association, when it ploughed into demonstrators occupying a highway on Sunday, the third day of clashes between protestors and police, the Union of Turkish Doctors said in a statement.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey’s biggest cities over the weekend and clashed with riot police firing tear gas, leaving hundreds of people injured.
“This is a protest organized by extremist elements,” Erdogan said.
“The fact the AK Party has increased its votes at three elections in a row and has successfully won two referendums, shows how the people of this nation have embraced the AK Party.”
Protesters on Sunday branded Erdogan a “dictator” and called for his resignation.
“Dictator, resign!... We will resist until we win,” yelled the crowds, in the latest of a string of protests that have by some accounts left hundreds injured.
The prime minister on Sunday rejected the claims that he is a “dictator,” dismissing protesters as an extremist fringe.
“If you love this country, if you love Istanbul, do not fall for these games,” he said in televised comments.
“They call me a dictator,” Erdogan said in a speech on Sunday. “If they liken a humble servant to a dictator, then I am at a loss for words.”