Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a strong warning to the protesters camped out at Taksim Square in Istanbul.
He said that within 24 hours, the situation at the square would be resolved. As The New York Times reports, the tough talk was tempered with an olive branch of sorts: Erdogan hinted that a referendum could decide whether a mall would be built in place of a park next to the square.
Update at 8:42 p.m. ET. Unrest May Continue All Night:
As Tuesday night wore into Wednesday morning, Turkish riot police were clashing with demonstrators in Istanbul's Taksim Square. Barrages of tear gas were fired into the square, where several fires burned on vehicles and other material. Some protesters were equipped with gas masks.
Speaking on television Tuesday, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he will not bend to the protesters' demands. Here's a portion of that speech, from the BBC:
Turkey's protests come at a sensitive moment for the country's economy, long considered a regional bright spot.
If there is a jewel in the crown of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decade in power, it's the enviable record of growth that has tripled the average Turk's per capita income and brought in a flood of foreign investment.
The ongoing anti-government protests in Turkey are about a lot of things — including a recent law to restrict the advertising and sale of alcohol. The limits aren't any more onerous than those in some other Western countries, but secular Turks see them as another step in a push by the ruling party to impose conservative social values on the population