June 2 - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan characterized two days of protests against him as ''provocations'' as Turkey began assessing the damage some of the fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years. Deborah Gembara reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~**NONE**~ For the first time since the riots began in Ankara and Istanbul, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addressed the unrest. SOUNDBITE: TURKISH PRIME MINISTER TAYYIP ERDOGAN, SAYING: "Unfortunately, we have been witnessing undesired incidents, attacks and provocations over the past few days. We are once again experiencing the traps that were sent in the past to threaten governments and create chaotic scenes in order to pave the way for interventions against democracy." (Burnt out cars) The aftermath of two days of violent demonstrations in Istanbul, just one of several cities where Turks took to the street to protest Erdogan's leadership. While he is credited with making Turkey one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, many have accused him of using excessive force against his opponents. More than 900 people were arrested over the weekend and injuries numbered well over a thousand. The protests were the largest anti-government demonstrations in the country since Erdogan took office .