Turkey’s Prime Minister Won’t Cave to Protesters

    Supporters of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan chant slogans upon his arrival at the Ataturk Airport of Istanbul early Friday, June 7, 2013. Erdogan took a combative stance on his closely watched return to the country early Friday, telling supporters who thronged to greet him that the protests that have swept the country must come to an end. In the first extensive public show of support since anti-government protests erupted last week, more than 10,000 supporters cheered Erdogan with rapturous applause outside Istanbul's international airport. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

    Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is back from a trip to North Africa and not happy to find protests still raging throughout his country a week after they started. “These protests that are bordering on illegality must come to an end as of now,” Erdogan announced from a bus outside the airport upon his return. “Some people say, ‘The prime minister is only prime minister to 50 percent.’ We have always said that we are the servants of 76 million.” While in Tunisia Thursday, Erdogan apologized for police use of tear gas against protesters but insisted “there is no country in the world that does not use tear gas” and reaffirmed plans to raze Istanbul’s Gezi Park—the issue that sparked the protests in the first place.

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