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Turkey: Police target every protest refuge, even Hilton Hotel!

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Published on Jun 15, 2013

Police entered the Hilton hotel in Istanbul to tackle the protesters who have used the facility as a safe-haven, Saturday. Reportedly, the Hilton allowed protesters to seek refuge in its plush lobby and bar, but as tensions continue to rise in the city as the government seeks to regain full control, police entered to clear the hotel. They were met with management who requested they leave and after a number of skirmishes left to cheers from protesters, staff and guests of the hotel.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan set Sunday as the deadline for protesters to desist and leave the occupied areas of central Istanbul, in particular Taksim Square and Taksim Gezi Park. Police entered with force on Saturday evening, taking protesters off-guard and claiming the square - a move that has angered the protest movement and created an intense atmosphere throughout the city, where running battles are continuing as protesters attempt to maintain their presence on the streets.

Protesters continue to call for the resignation of Erdogan in the wake of the uprising. Citing the "creeping Islamification" of Turkish secular society as their base, many have mobilized against the Prime Minister arguing that his recent legislation is moving Turkey away from its secular roots established by Ataturk and towards the Islamic ideologies, like the Muslim Brotherhood. Protesters are also angered by the foreign policy of Turkey, particularly in regards to Syria, with many arguing that the country's security has been jeopardised by the developing conflict.

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