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Originally published June 23, 2013 at 7:37 PM | Page modified June 24, 2013 at 5:45 AM

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Erdogan likens Turkish protests to those in Brazil amid clashes

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said clashes in both countries were orchestrated by international media and social networks.

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan likened the protests in Brazil to those in Turkey, accusing the organizers of seeking to undermine government authority.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and Erdogan are struggling to contain protests that began as fights against higher bus fares or to protect a park and have swelled into broader movements. The Turkish premier, whose plans to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul triggered demonstrations, said clashes in both countries were orchestrated by international media and social networks.

“Right now, the same game is being played in Brazil,” Erdogan said. “The symbols are the same, the posters are the same. Same Twitter, same Facebook, same international media. They are being controlled by the same center.”

Turkey’s crisis started as a protest against the redevelopment of a park in Istanbul before turning into a movement against Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party and what critics say is Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule, Brazil’s turmoil highlights discontent among the nation’s middle class as inflation threatens to erode gains from recent economic growth.

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