In Tampa dozens rally in solidarity with Gezi Park movement in Turkey

06/10/13 Seán Kinane
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On Saturday more than 50 protesters waved Turkish flags in downtown Tampa’s Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in support of the widespread popular uprising in Turkey.

Monday Turkey's opposition party leader accused the prime minister of escalating tensions and dragging the country into the fire as anti-government protests that have led to three deaths.

In Tampa solidarity protesters recited a speech by the country's first President, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, chanted and sang songs.

Serhat Tanyolacar organized the rally and read a prepared statement to the Tampa crowd supporting the protesters in Istanbul’s Geza Park.

We interviewed protester Nagi Kocer, who has lived in Tampa for years but is from Istanbul, Turkey.

Meanwhile in Turkey, the prime minister gave a series of speeches to cheering supporters Sunday, demanding an end to the anti-government protests.

Raising the stakes for those opposing him on Turkish streets and squares, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to bring out his supporters for rallies in Ankara and Istanbul next weekend.

Information from the AP was used in this report. The following information is from the Associated Press:

Turkey's Doctors Association says it has asked authorities to reveal the chemical content of the tear gas that has been fired at protesters.

A human rights group says nearly 5,000 people have sought medical care since the protests began 11 days ago, many for the effects of tear gas.

"We note that those chemical agents have been used intensively in the past two weeks in Turkey," Bayazit Ilhan, the doctors association's secretary-general, told reporters on Monday. "The protesters and doctors have serious concerns about the content of chemicals used and the amount (used)."

Rights groups have accused police of using excessive force on protesters while Turkey's allies have expressed concerns over the number of people who have been hurt.

More photos from Saturday's rally can be seen here and here.

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