Thomas Roberts   |  June 12, 2013

Turkish police clash with protestors

NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin reports on Turkish police clashes with groups protesting against Turkey’s prime minister.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> turkish police last night clashing with protesters clearing a central square the focus of two week of protests against turkey's prime minister. our foreign correspondent is here. why have things calmed down now?

>> the police have gone in and cleared the square and essentially has gi minutished the number of protesters there. but there is always that underlying tension that can bring protesters back into the square.

>> so while we watch these images and some of the earlier images from yesterday were certainly very disturbing with the violence that was displayed from forces that were sent into clear the square, so what is it that the protesters are trying to seek? because we know that there are tensions certainly between the prime minister and the younger vision of what people in turkey would like to see from their government.

>> i think the protesters right now it is more about an expression of anger and frustration. i don't think they have a clear list of demands. p this was started because of a plan by the government to build in the square.

>> build a strip mall , right?

>> to build a shopping mall i guess in it an area that is considered iconic for several reasons. but the underlying problem is that the protesters feel the current government is rolling back some of the secular and personal liberties of individuals in turkey. so the concern is that this government has really once again overstepped, overused either power. a lot of anger is directed towards the prime minister himself on a personal level, not just in the current government's form.

>> and as you've covered the arab spring, that was dominated by social media . we've seen the prime minister speak out against social media basically calling it a menace. is that how the people that want to gather to protest are communicating at this point is this because the media coverage has basically been blacked out.

>> turkey is a very open society in general, but other the past several years, the government has put some restrictions on freedom of speech and that's what has the white house concerned and a lot of people in turkey concerned. there is no doubt social media have played an important role in expressing the grievances and that's why you're seeing it gain the kind of traction. there are similarities, but turkey is very different than what we've seen in other parts of the arab world .

>> thanks so much.