Clashes between protesters, police continue in Turkey

The back-and-forth in Turkey has claimed its first victim, after four days of protests that were originally sparked by the planned bulldozing of Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul. But the first reported death wasn’t at the hand of protesters nor police:

Mehmet Ayvalitas, a 20-year-old member of a computer hacking group, was hit by a taxi late Sunday as he and other protesters organized a demonstration in Istanbul’s Umraniye district, said the Turkish Doctors’ Union and Turkish press reports.

The doctors’ group also reported that more than 2,300 people have been injured during the protests, a much higher casualty count than the government has provided.

As the protests have grown, they’ve grown more and more politicized, with longstanding suspicions that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has shifted the country away from its secular roots and pushed it toward Islam during his decade in power.

The demonstrations, meanwhile, show no signs of slowing down, despite increased pressure from authorities and dismissive remarks from Erdogan that there’s “no Arab spring” taking place in Turkey.

Read more over at World Now.

Photos: Burhan Ozbilici / Associated Press, Bulent Kilic, Ozan Kose / AFP / Getty Images

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