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Turkey protests 'after ten years of insults'

Turkish riot police have used tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-government demonstrators who gathered on Taksim Square in Istanbul, after a day of sporadic clashes.

Many protesters regrouped in nearby Gezi Park, where unrest continued into Wednesday morning.

The BBC's Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen analysed the long-term reasons behind the protests.

Safak Pavey, a member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, told the Today programme's John Humphrys this was "the accumulation of ten years of [the government] insulting people in every way".

She said that her party's duty was to try to protect the "completely peaceful youth".

Yavuz Yiğit of the Tukish Prime Minister Erdogan's AK party said "the people on the street cannot find a representative in the political area."

"It's not because of the AK party that those people are there," he insisted.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 12 June 2013.

  • 12 Jun 2013
  • From the section Europe