Turkish PM urges protesters to leave Istanbul park

Associated Press
Turkish riot policeman walk, in Taksim square  in Istanbul, Saturday, June 15, 2013. Protesters will press on with their sit-in at an Istanbul park, an activist said Saturday, defying government appeals and a warning from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the two-week standoff that has fanned nationwide demonstrations to end. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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SINCAN, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's prime minister has threatened protesters that if they don't leave Istanbul's Taksim Square, security forces "know how to clear it."

Recep Tayyip Erdogan was speaking at a rally of tens of thousands of supporters in the Ankara suburb of Sincan. It came just hours after protesters in the square's Gezi Park defied Erdogan's warning that they must leave.

Erdogan warns: "I say this very clearly: either Taksim Square is cleared, or if it isn't cleared then the security forces of this country will know how to clear it."

A violent police crackdown on a sit-in protesting a redevelopment plan in Gezi Park has sparked much broader anti-government demonstrations.

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