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Turkish Protesters Refuse To Leave Park Despite Erdogan Concession

Protesters light candles in memory of victims of the recent violent antigovernment protests in Turkey in Istanbul's Taksim Square on June 14.
Turkish protesters occupying Istanbul's Gezi Park have once again refused to evacuate the site despite an offer by the country's prime minister to halt a controversial real-estate project.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 14 called on protesters to leave the park, after the government offered assurances it had temporarily suspended a plan to cut down trees on the site to make way for a construction project.

But protesters said in a statement on June 15 they were rejecting the offer and would continue the demonstration "in the face of injustice and unfairness taking place in our country."

In the capital, Ankara, police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse protesters who erected barricades near the parliament building overnight.

Antigovernment protests have continued for two weeks, marking the deepest unrest in Turkey in decades.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP