San Fransisco Chronicle: Erdogan Calls Protests a Conspiracy, Vows to Strengthen Police

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the main opposition party of inciting weeks of protests and vowed to strengthen police in “every way” to fight a “conspiracy” by traitors and foreign agitators.

Earlier today, Turkish police raided homes in Istanbul and Ankara, rounding up 85 people suspected of violence against police. Overnight, they fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse hundreds of protesters in Ankara. The European Union, which has denounced the use of force by police since the unrest began May 31, canceled a planned visit.

In a speech to parliament, Erdogan alleged, without saying where he got the figure, that 76 percent of the protesters who occupied Istanbul’s Gezi Park had voted for the secular Republican People’s Party. He accused its leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, of acting like a “militant of a terrorist organization” and said other opposition lawmakers disseminated “lies on Twitter” to incite masses.

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