Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has said the protests must end immediately, will meet with top officials from his Justice and Development Party in Istanbul.

Turkey’s Prime Minister convened his party leadership on Saturday as anti-government protests entered their ninth day, with thousands of people still occupying Istanbul’s central Taksim Square.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has said the protests must end immediately, will meet with top officials from his Justice and Development Party in Istanbul.

The protests began as a sit-in at a park in Taksim Square to prevent a redevelopment project that would replace the park with replica Ottoman barracks and a shopping mall. The mall idea seems to have fallen by the wayside, with Mr Erdogan recently saying an opera house, theatre and possibly a museum would be built instead.

But violent intervention by police to eject the protesters on May 31 outraged many, and the protests spread to dozens of cities across Turkey.

Over the past nine days of demonstrations and frequent violent confrontations with police, three people have been killed two protesters and a policeman and thousands have been injured.

The protests have attracted a broad array of people angered by what they say are Mr Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian ways and his intervention in private lives. They point to attempts to curtail the selling and promotion of alcohol, his comments on how women should dress and statements that each woman should have at least three children.

A devout Muslim who says he is committed to upholding Turkey’s secular tradition, Mr Erdogan vehemently rejects charges of autocracy and points out that he enjoyed 50 percent support in the last elections in 2011.

More In: World | International | News