Thousands of angry Turks poured into the streets on Saturday to join mass anti-government protests, defying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to end the worst civil unrest of his decade-long rule.
Protesters blew whistles and waved flags in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the epicenter of the protests which erupted on May 31, while others brought blankets and food to settle in for the weekend at the adjoining Gezi Park, now a festival-like camp site.
“A week ago, I could never imagine myself sleeping out on the streets of Istanbul,” said 22-year-old Aleyna, wrapped up under a blanket with a stray kitten, pointing to her dirty clothes. “Now I don’t know how I can ever go back.”
Fresh rallies were also held in the capital Ankara, with over a thousand people gathering peacefully in the central Kizilay Square, singing revolutionary songs and dancing.