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Turkish Unions Launch Nationwide Strike


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, Emine, wave to supporters as they arrive at a rally in Istanbul on June 16.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife, Emine, wave to supporters as they arrive at a rally in Istanbul on June 16.

Five Turkish trade unions have begun a nationwide strike to protest a harsh crackdown by Turkish police against demonstrators on Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

The one-day work stoppage is backed by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions, as well as the unions for public sector workers, engineers and architects, doctors, and dentists.

The unions said in a statement that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan "has launched an offensive against the nation" by forcibly evicting protesters from Gezi Park in Istanbul on June 15.

The leafy corner of Taksim Square has been the epicenter of two weeks of antigovernment demonstrations.

Turkish lawyers say 441 protesters were arrested in Istanbul on June 16 and another 56 were detained in the capital, Ankara.


Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, dpa, Hurriyet, BBC, and UPI
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