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Opponents 'terrorizing' the streets: Turkey PM

ANKARA -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday accused his opponents of trying to stir up chaos ahead of key local elections later this month, a day after clashes in which two people died.

His comments, directed at politicians, businesspeople and the media, came after tens of thousands of people turned out to mourn a 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered in anti-government protests last year, sparking violence between police and protesters.

On Thursday, Erdogan said demonstrators had destroyed the offices of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Istanbul, and lashed out at what he called “ugly attempts” to manipulate March 30 elections.

“They are trying to get results by provoking and terrorizing the streets,” he said.

“They are charlatans, they are not honest. They have nothing to do with democracy,” he added.

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Thousands of people march for Berkin Elvan, a Turkish teenager who was in a coma since being hit on the head by a tear gas canister fired by police during anti-government protests in the summer of 2013, during his funeral in Istanbul on Wednesday, March 12. On Wednesday, thousands converged in front of a house of worship calling for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to resign. (AP)

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