Turkey's Prime Minister: Protests Not 'Turkish Spring'05:48
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Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks to the media in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, June 3, 2013. (AP)
Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaks to the media in Istanbul, Turkey, Monday, June 3, 2013. (AP)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is dismissing street protests against his rule as actions organized by extremists.

Erdogan described the clashes as a temporary blip and angrily rejected comparisons with the Arab Spring uprisings.

Turkey has been hit by demonstrations since Friday that grew out of anger over excessive police force against protesters holding a sit-in to prevent the uprooting of trees at Istanbul's main Taksim Square.

The BBC's James Reynolds reports the demonstrations have since spiraled into Turkey's biggest anti-government disturbances in years, challenging Erdogan's power.

This segment aired on June 3, 2013.

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