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Turkey PM issues ‘last warning’ for Istanbul park protesters

Published: Updated:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a "last warning" for thousands of protesters occupying a park in central Istanbul on Thursday, saying government patience has come to an end.

"Our patience is at an end. I am making my warning for the last time. I say to the mothers and fathers please take your children in hand and bring them out... We cannot wait any more because Gezi Park does not belong to occupying forces but to the people...," Erdogan told an AK Party meeting in Ankara, according to Reuters.

Earlier on Tuesday, Erdogan vowed zero tolerance for the mass demos as police sent large crowds of protesters scrambling by throwing tear gas and spraying jets of water.

Taksim Square has seen continuous clashes between protestors and the police for 12 days. Thousands of demonstrators have chanted “Erdogan, resign!” and “Resistance!”.

The worst night of violence nationwide unrest was recorded on Tuesday, AFP news agency reported.

The protests began as a sit-in at a park in Taksim Square to prevent a redevelopment project that would replace the park with replica Ottoman barracks and other buildings.

The square has been the scene of violent clashes between police and protesters since demonstrations first erupted after police cracked down heavily on May 31 on a campaign to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park from redevelopment.