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Turkish president calls for calm amid nationwide protests


20:43, June 03, 2013

A man throws way a tear gas during a demonstration against the demolition of Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park in Ankara, Turkey, June 2, 2013. Clashes erupted between demonstrators and the police when thousands of people held demonstration to protest the demolition of Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park in cities across Turkey on Sunday. (Xinhua/NTV)

ANKARA, June 3 (Xinhua) -- Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Monday called on anti-government protestors to calm down on the seventh day of demonstrations.

Speaking to reporters here in Ankara, Gul said "Turkey's democracy has been tested; it is now time to remain calm."

He stressed that the Turkish government has received "all the messages which are in good intentions."

"If there are objections, there is nothing more natural than voicing them. Democracy is not just about elections," the president said.

"All the messages with good intentions were received, and what is necessary will be done when the time comes," he added.

The president warned of illegal groups that could intervene into protests from now on.

Gul's remarks came after several calls on the Turkish president to intervene against police crackdown on protestors.

The anti-government protests swept 67 provinces across the country, including the capital city of Ankara and coastal cities of Antalya and Izmir.

The protests started as an environmental sit-in protest at Gezi Park in coastal city of Istanbul over plans to redevelop that part of Taksim Square, and then turned into anti-government demonstrations against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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

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

In the meantime, clashes erupted between police and protesters in Istanbul's Besiktas district in the early hours of Monday.

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