Turkey's prime minister on Sunday rejected claims that he is a "dictator," dismissing protesters as an extremist fringe, even as thousands returned to the landmark Istanbul square that has become the site of the fiercest anti-government outburst in years.
Over the past three days, protesters around the country have unleashed pent-up resentment against Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who after 10 years in office many Turks see as an uncompromising figure with undue influence in every part of life.
A huge, exuberant protest in Taksim Square subsided overnight, but an estimated 10,000 people again streamed into the area on Sunday, many waving flags, chanting "victory, victory, victory" and calling on Erdogan's government to resign.
Image: Young Turks wave the national flag as they clash with security forces in Ankara, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Protests in Istanbul and several other Turkish cities appear to have subsided, after days of fierce clashes following a police crackdown on a peaceful gathering. The demonstrations grew out of anger over a violent police crackdown of a peaceful environmental protest at Istanbul's Taksim Square and spread to other Turkish cities.