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Turkish prime minister lashes out at protesters

Protesters marched to Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on Tuesday to denounce a court decision that freed a police officer accused of killing an antigovernment demonstrator.
Protesters marched to Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on Tuesday to denounce a court decision that freed a police officer accused of killing an antigovernment demonstrator.George Licovski/EPA

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Turkish police on Tuesday 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.

Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters marched to Istanbul’s central Taksim square, this time to denounce a court decision that freed — pending trial — a police officer accused of killing a demonstrator during the antigovernment protests that swept the country since May 31. Police surrounded the square, blocking their access.

At least three demonstrators and a police officer were killed in the protests that began in Istanbul following a heavy-handed police clampdown on peaceful activists and quickly turned into widespread expression of discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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