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Turkish PM calls for calm as protests enters 7th day


19:14, June 03, 2013

ISTANBUL, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called for calm on Monday after a week of fierce anti- government protests leaving 173 people injured and 730 detained.

"Be calm, relax, all this will be overcome," Erdogan told a news conference at Istanbul airport before his planned departure on an official visit to Morocco.

The Turkish prime minister also urged people not to be provoked by demonstrations and said the protests had been organized by " extremist elements."

He said that Turkish intelligence is looking into possible links between the incidents in Taksim Square and foreign powers, accusing internal and foreign actors of supporting the Gezi Park protests.

"Our intelligence work is ongoing to determine the foreign actors behind the protests. It is not possible to reveal their names. But we will have meetings with their heads," said Erdogn, adding that "those who advise us to be moderate must themselves first come to moderation," referring to the international reactions to the use of force against protests that have erupted in all corners of the country.

The anti-government protests entered its seventh day, which spreading to 67 provinces across the country, including the capital city of Ankara and coastal cities of Antalya and Izmir.

In Istanbul, 100,000 people took to the streets in Turkey's biggest cities over the weekend and clashed with riot police firing tear gas.

For two days, thousands of people tried to attack the office of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul with some windows broken by stones, and some protesters set fire to offices of the ruling Justice and Development Party.

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