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Turkey vows to crack down on protesters

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's prime minister on Tuesday brushed aside international criticism over his government's crackdown on widespread demonstrations and vowed to increase the police's powers to deal with the unrest.

Meanwhile, more than 90 people were detained in police raids linked to the protests.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's defiant stance appeared aimed at shoring up his conservative base in Turkey, where the rallies have exposed fissures between urban and largely secularist Turks and the more religious classes. But Erdogan's bellicosity has dented his global reputation; EU officials on Tuesday nixed a visit due to some of his comments.

Anti-government demonstrations sprouted across Turkey after May 31, when riot police brutally cracked down on peaceful environmental activists who opposed plans to remove trees and develop Gezi Park, which lies next to Istanbul's famed Taksim Square.

The crackdowns have continued as protests have spread and attracted a range of groups unhappy with the 10-year rule of Erdogan, whom many believe is trying to gradually impose his religious and conservative views in Turkey, which has long had a secular democracy.

Four protesters and one police officer have been killed. More than 7,800 people have been injured.

Police raided homes and offices in the capital, Ankara, and Istanbul, detaining at least 92 people suspected of involvement in violence. The state-run Anadolu news agency said the suspects were detained for allegedly destroying public property, inciting people to revolt or attacking police.

In response to the ongoing confrontations, some protesters have adopted a special maneuver to get their point across: standing still.

The trend was launched by performance artist Erdem Gunduz, who stood silently for hours in Istanbul's central Taksim Square on Monday night as others joined him and replicated the protest in other cities.

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