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Many detained in Turkey police raids

At least 20 people held for alleged links to "terror groups" and "attacking police and the environment".

Last Modified: 25 Jun 2013 19:13
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The protests against Prime Minister Erdogan's leadership had spread quickly across the nation [AFP]

Police in Turkey have raided homes in the capital Ankara, detaining at least 20 people involved in anti-government protests.

The state-run Anadolu agency said on Tuesday that police searched about 30 homes.

Those detained were alleged to have links to "terror'' groups and were suspected of "attacking police and the environment'' during recent protests that swept the country.

The protests began in Istanbul on May 31 and quickly turned into widespread demonstrations against the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following a heavy-handed police clampdown on peaceful activists.

The demonstrations turned violent at times, and Erdogan accused “terrorist groups of involvement.”

Hundreds of protesters are marching on Tuesday to Taksim Square to denounce a court decision that freed, pending trial, a police officer accused of killing a demonstrator.

At least three demonstrators and a police officer were killed during the demonstrations.

One man was killed by a bullet fired by police during a protest in Ankara on June 1.

A court on Monday released the officer from custody pending trial, on grounds that the shooting may have been accidental.

EU accession talks

Meanwhile, EU diplomats agreed on Tuesday to revive accession talks with Turkey, but postponed the actual date for the new round of negotiations by at least four months amid Germany's concerns over Ankara's handling of the protests.

The talks about Turkey’s membership to EU were originally scheduled for Wednesday, but Berlin, backed by the governments of Austria and the Netherlands, had blocked the plan due to the crackdown on protests.

Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, welcomed the revival of talks. "Chapter 22 has been opened. This matter is over," Davutoglu said in televised remarks.

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