By Ilya U. Topper and Dogan Tilic.


After a day of calm that suggested that the violent protests in Turkey might be over, the unrest resumed Sunday evening with new clashes between demonstrators and police, this time in Ankara.

Whereas the earlier protests had taken place in Istanbul and have - for the moment - died down, this time some 10,000 people gathered on Ankara's downtown Kizilay Square and police moved in to try and dislodge them by force, Efe was able to determine.

Initially, police fired tear gas and water cannons at hundreds of students who tried to approach the seat of government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Shortly thereafter, police moved in to try and clear the plaza, sparking a clash between protesters and security forces in which numerous people were injured and several doctors confirmed to Efe that the police were firing rubber bullets at the demonstrators.

Police also fired tear gas at hospitals and apartment buildings in the capital's downtown, causing panic among both demonstrators and residents who were not taking part in the protest.

"There are many seriously injured and not everyone can be attended to. The young people are writing their blood types on their arms as a precaution," Ilhan Cihaner, a lawmaker with the opposition Republican Party of the People, or CHP, told Efe.

"This is a popular movement, which is not coordinated by any party or organization, and I ask the international community not to forget the Turkish youth. The attitude of the prime minister is provoking more violence," Cihaner complained.

Turkish media outlets have not yet reported on the protests, a situation that has infuriated many demonstrators who accuse them of being complicit in government-imposed censorship of the unrest.

Meanwhile, in Istanbul the situation seemed much calmer on Sunday night, with thousands of activists gathering on the central Taksim Square and in nearby Gezi Park, the planned demolition of which was the catalyst for this wave of anti-government protests.

The withdrawal on Friday of the police from Taksim Square and Gezi Park was celebrated by thousands of protesters as a "victory," although on Sunday Erdogan once again defiantly insisted that he will not back down on the urban planning moves slated for downtown Istanbul and accused the political opposition of being responsible for the anti-government protests.

"We cannot stand and watch when some attackers provoke the people," warned the prime minister in a speech that was a long way from the moderation and conciliation called for on Saturday by Turkish President Abdullah Gül.

"We don't know what will happen, but it's clear that if the police return we will react again," Melike, a student at the park told Efe.

According to official figures, 79 people have been injured and 939 arrested in recent days in the protests, although most of those arrested have been released, but other unofficial sources say that some 1,500 people have required medical attention.

One opposition Web page claimed on Sunday that a 26-year-old male demonstrator had died after being shot in the head on Saturday, although this report has not been officially confirmed. EFE