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22 of 25 arrested in Turkey protests officially charged

June 22, 2013 at 2:01 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, June 22 (UPI) -- A court in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday formally charged 22 of 25 people arrested during protests in which five people have been killed and more than 5,000 injured.

The 25 suspects were questioned by prosecutors Friday and Saturday, and then referred to a court which decided to charge 22 of them, Today's Zaman reported. The other three were released on probation.

All of the suspects were arrested during protests following a police crackdown on a peaceful sit-in in Istanbul's Gezi Park May 27.

What started out as a protest to save the park from becoming a shopping center grew into anti-government protests throughout Turkey.

Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu Friday denied allegations by the Istanbul Bar Association that nine people have gone missing during the protests, Today's Zaman said.

"We haven't received any reports of missing persons in connection with the Gezi Park incidents," he said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his opponents unfairly accused him of pursuing government projects that were not environmentally friendly, Today's Zaman said.

"We don't favor tyrannical rule of the majority over the minority, but we also cannot accept the minority imposing their will on the majority," Erdogan said.

Erdogan said no projects are planned that would destroy green space in Gezi Park, only ones aimed at "reviving history."

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