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Turkish-Americans Protest in Downtown Tampa

Several dozen protestors waved Turkish and American flags this afternoon in Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa in a protest against the policies of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The peaceful protests were an echo of the mass anti-government protests that have gripped parts of Turkey the past week, after the government announced plans to level a popular park in downtown Istanbul  for a shopping mall. The government has since backed off on its plans to build the mall, but protesters have continued taking to the streets to decry what they say is an increasingly authoritarian government.

According to Al Jazeera:

People began arriving in the city's Taksim Square in the morning with food and blankets to settle in for demonstrations, adding to the growing tent city in nearby Gezi Park. "A week ago, I could never imagine myself sleeping out on the streets of Istanbul," said 22-year-old Aleyna, wrapped up under a blanket with a stray kitten, pointing to her dirty clothes. "Now I don't know how I can ever go back."

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