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Turkey: Trade unions prepare for strikes following police crackdown against activists

Turkish trade unions are gearing up for strikes in response to a widespread police crackdown against activists defying government attempts to end weeks of street protests.

Today's call for the one-day walkout is aimed at maintaining pressure on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

On Saturday, riot police emptied Istanbul's Gezi Park of activists behind an 18-day sit-in that began as a demonstration against government plans to rip down trees and redevelop the park. It then spiralled into a nationwide protest, with the park's neighbouring Taksim Square becoming the movement's epicentre.

Police maintained a lockdown on vehicle traffic on the square today.

Thousands of protesters tried to regroup in the area yesterday, only to be turned back by riot police firing tear gas and water cannon.

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