ISTANBUL — Tens of thousands of protesters called for the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and fought police firing tear gas in central Istanbul for the second day Saturday. A defiant Erdogan declared he would not back down from a controversial construction project that set off the protests, but then called off the police. Denouncing protesters as “entirely ideological,” Erdogan vowed in a speech to go ahead with plans to build a replica of an Ottoman-era barracks on what is now parkland off of Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul’s downtown. But he conceded there had been excessive use of tear gas and that citizens had the right to express their views.
- Published in Turkey