September 13, 2013 - 13:28 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Riot police used tear gas to disperse pockets of anti-government demonstrators in several Turkish cities for a third night and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan vowed to stamp out what he described as efforts to "create chaos," Reuters said.
Officers backed by armored vehicles and water cannon played cat and mouse into the early hours of Friday with groups of youths in the streets of Kadikoy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, dismantling their makeshift barricades of garbage and rubble.
There were similar protests in Ankara and reports on social media of unrest in the Mediterranean coastal cities of Antalya and Antakya, but the troubles were not on the same scale as the weeks of rioting which rocked Turkey in June and July.
Protests have rumbled on intermittently since the summer, but intensified again this week after a 22-year old man, Ahmet Atakan, died during clashes with police in Antakya, near the border with Syria, early on Tuesday.
Atakan died after falling from a building, but investigations continue into the circumstances of his death.
The summer protests presented one of the biggest challenges to Erdogan's rule since his Islamist-rooted AK Party first came to power a decade ago, spiraling out of a demonstration in late May against plans to redevelop an Istanbul park into a broader show of defiance against his perceived authoritarianism.
The latest unrest comes just six months before local elections, the start of a voting cycle which also includes a presidential election next August - in which Erdogan is expected to run - and parliamentary polls in 2015.
According to BBC News, in May, protests over plans to redevelop Gezi Park in central Istanbul sparked a nationwide wave of protests, the most serious threat yet to the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The protest movement tapped into concern felt in some sections of Turkish society that Erdogan's Islamist-rooted government has become increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of dissent.