Turcos enfrentam polícia em protestos contra o governo

Image caption Manifestantes ergueram barricadas em Istambul

Turkish protesters have clashed with police in Istanbul overnight, in some of the worst violence since protests started on Friday.

Reporter: James Reynolds

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The demonstrations overnight in Istanbul were the most dramatic so far. Protesters in the Dolmabahce neighbourhoods built barricades and tried to reach the prime minister's office.

Witnesses say they got hold of a digger and drove it at police lines. Demonstrators also tried to march on the prime minister's office in the capital Ankara. They were met by the police who fired tear gas and water cannon.

The government has reacted angrily to the continuing protests. The prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has dismissed accusations that he acts in an authoritarian manner.

Erdogan has insisted that a controversial plan to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul, the issue which sparked the initial protests on Friday, will still go ahead.

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demonstrations public protests

dramatic powerful in appearance or effect

barricades structures which stop movement through an area or a road

digger a vehicle that digs earth

tear gas gas that makes eyes uncomfortable and people cry; often used by police in riots to control crowds

authoritarian describes a government where individual freedom is second to the power or authority of the state

controversial causing argument or disagreement

redevelop to improve a building or area, which may include bringing parts of it back to their original condition

sparked started; caused to start

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