Ankara (Turkey), 25 June: Turkish police today detained at least 20 people allegedly involved in violent protests, as the country’s prime minister continued to lash out at protesters and a BBC journalist he claimed were part of a conspiracy to harm Turkey.
Police searched some 30 addresses in the capital Ankara and rounded up 20 people with alleged links to “terror” groups and suspected of “attacking police and the environment” during three weeks of protests that swept Turkey, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. It was the second police sweep against demonstrators in the city this week.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan holds unspecified foreign forces, bankers and media outlets responsible for the protests that began in Istanbul on 31 May, following a heavy-handed police clampdown on peaceful activists.
The protests quickly spread to other cities, with thousands expressing discontent with what critics have said is Mr Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian way of governing.
In an address to members of his Islamic-rooted party in parliament, Mr Erdogan reiterated that the protests were orchestrated by forces wanting to prevent Turkey’s rise.
He repeated his claim that the same conspiracy was at work in Brazil, saying both countries had paid off debts to the International Monetary Fund. ap