Tue Jun 18, 2013 1:23pm IST

Police arrest dozens in raids across Turkey after protests

ANKARA (Reuters) - Police raided addresses across Turkey on Tuesday and detained dozens of people after nearly three weeks of anti-government protests, local media reported.

State media TRT said 25 people had been detained in the capital Ankara, 13 in Eskisehir to the west and "many" in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul.

A police source confirmed the operation and said: "For now, only provocateurs will be taken for questioning."

Turkey has been rocked by demonstrations that began in and around Istanbul's Taksim Square and turned violent after police sought to clear protesters using teargas and water cannon.

Clashes have erupted in cities across the country, as people protest against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's leadership.

Erdogan has struck a defiant tone in the face of the biggest public challenge to his 10-year rule, during which he has overseen an economic boom and enjoyed broad popularity.

At a speech on Sunday before hundreds of thousands of supporters in Istanbul he said the disturbances had been manipulated by "terrorists".

Ankara's police anti-terror department said it had no information on the reports of Tuesday's raids. (Reporting by Jonathon Burch and Parisa Hafezi; Writing by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Janet Lawrence)

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