Istanbul

Supporters of the Turkish prime minister await his arrival at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul with placards and Turkish flags late on Thursday.

Ozan Kose

Supporters of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan await his arrival at Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul late on Thursday.

People take photographs and others read anti-government graffiti painted on the ground in front of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's statue, founder of Turkey, at the Taksim square in Istanbul, Thursday, June 6, 2013. The reasons behind Turkey’s eight day of protests are serious enough. But demonstrators have also reacted with humor, particularly on social media sites, often lampooning the prime minister and poking fun at his comments

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

People take photographs while others read anti-government graffiti on the ground in front of the statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, at Taksim Square in Istanbul, the site of anti-government protests. Many of the demonstrators have reacted with humour, particularly on social media sites, often lampooning the prime minister and poking fun at his comments

A Turkish art group preforms in support of protestors at Taksim Square onJune 5, 2013 in Istanbul, Turkey. The protests began initially over the fate of Taksim Gezi Park, one of the last significant green spaces in the center of the city. The heavy-handed viewed response of the police, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government's increasingly authoritarian agenda has broadened the rage of the clashes.

Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

A Turkish art group preforms in support of protesters at Taksim Square on Wednesday in Istanbul. The protests began initially over the fate of Taksim Gezi Park, one of the last significant green spaces in the centre of the city. The heavy-handed viewed response of the police, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government’s increasingly authoritarian agenda has broadened the rage of the clashes.

Protestors clash with Turkish riot policemen on the way to Taksim Square in Istanbul

Bulent Kilic/Reuters

Protesters clash with Turkish riot policemen on the way to Taksim Square in Istanbul on Wednesday, as part of ongoing protests against the ruling party, police brutality and the destruction of Taksim park for a development project. Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government has apologised to injured protesters and said it had ‘learnt its lesson’ after days of mass street demonstrations that have posed the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade in office.

A protester sleeps at a bus stop sprayed with graffiti at Taksim Square in Istanbul...A protester sleeps at a bus stop sprayed with graffiti at Taksim Square in Istanbul June 4, 2013. Pockets of protesters clashed with Turkish riot police overnight and a union federation began a two-day strike on Tuesday as anti-government demonstrations in which two people have died stretched into a fifth day. Hundreds of police and protesters have been injured since Friday, when a demonstration to halt construction in a park in an Istanbul square grew into mass protests against a heavy-handed police crackdown and what opponents call Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's authoritarian policies.  REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov (TURKEY - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

Stoyan Nenov/Reuters

A protester sleeps at a bus stop sprayed with graffiti at Taksim Square in Istanbul on Tuesday. Pockets of protesters clashed with Turkish riot police overnight and a union federation began a two-day strike on Tuesday as anti-government demonstrations in which two people have died stretched into a fifth day. Hundreds of police and protesters have been injured since Friday, when a demonstration to halt construction in a park in an Istanbul square grew into mass protests against a heavy-handed police crackdown and what opponents call Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian policies 

Turkish youths relax in Taksim Gezi park...Turkish youths relax in Taksim Gezi park in Istanbul on June 3, 2013 after days of protests against the demolition of the park. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 3 rejected talk of a "Turkish Spring", facing down the sharpest protests in his decade-long rule as fresh clashes erupted between police and demonstrators in Ankara. Taksim Square, where the protests first erupted, was relatively quiet early on June 3 as people started the first workday since tensions boiled over on May 31.  AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILICBULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Bulent Kilic/AFP

Turkish youths relax in Gezi Park in Istanbul on Monday after five days of protests against the demolition of the park. 

Taksim Square Protest

AP

Riot police use pepper gas to disperse demonstrators protesting against the cutting down of trees in the centre of Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey.

Masked policemen take cover behind shields during clashes at a May Day demonstration on May 1, 2013, in Istanbul.  Several people were injured on Wednesday as Turkish riot police used water canon and tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters who defied a May Day ban on demonstrations in a central part of Istanbul.

Ozan Kose/AFP

Masked police officers take cover behind shields during clashes at a May Day demonstration in Istanbul. Several people were injured on Wednesday as Turkish riot police used water canon and teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters who defied a May Day ban on demonstrations in a central part of Istanbul, Turkey.