Turkish protesters continued to file into Taksim Square Thursday night and vowed to remain in Istanbul’s Gezi Park despite a ‘last warning’ issued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mothers at Istanbul protest Thursday, holding hands and forming a line for their children. (photo via Twitter / TIME TURKIYE @timeturkiye) Erdogan was scheduled to meet late Thursday night with some representatives of the protesters occupying the park, as he did Wednesday night.
However, many have called Erdogan’s meetings a facade—meaning the protesters he has chosen to meet with do not represent the country’s broader protest movement and the thousands of protesters involved.
Another showdown between police and protesters remained likely.
“We have arrived at the end of our patience,” Erdogan told local party leaders in Ankara, the capital.
“I am giving you my final warning,” he said, directing his comments toward the protesters.
Now five people have died and over 5,000 have been injured as a result of the heavy police crackdown on the movement that began as a peaceful protest to protect Instanbul’s last public green space but turned to a larger movement against the Erdogan’s government.