A hotel security guard wearing a gas mask watches as anti government protesters and police clash nearby.
Protests against the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan spread across Turkey after a peaceful sit in organised by environmental activists in Gezi Park were violently broken up by the police, causing numerous injuries. The park is to be turned into a shopping complex with a mosque and a replica of a former army barracks. On 4 June 2013, after two deaths amongst the protesters had been confirmed, the Turkish vice Deputy Prime Minister apologised to protesters for death and injury caused. Erdogan's AK Party has been in power for over a decade and many accuse the Prime Minister of becoming increasingly autocratic.