Turkish trade unions urged their members to walk out of work on Monday and join demonstrations in response to a widespread police crackdown against activists following weeks of street protests.
“I am calling on public workers and labourers to not participate in unlawful demonstrations otherwise they will bear the legal consequences,” Muammer Guler said. “Our police will be on duty as usual.”
A day earlier, riot police cordoned off streets, set up roadblocks and fired tear gas and water cannons to prevent anti-government protesters from converging on Istanbul’s central Taksim Square, while a few kilometers (miles) away Mr. Erdogan addressed hundreds of thousands of government supporters.
Police on Monday maintained a lockdown on Taksim, the epicentre of more than two weeks of protests, by barring vehicles. However, as the work week began, authorities re-opened a subway station at the square that had been shuttered on Sunday when protesters tried to regroup.
Two of Turkey’s largest labour movements urged members to walk off the job Monday afternoon and converge at the square.
In Ankara overnight, riot police fired tear gas and water cannons against thousands of protesters, the latest violence in a more than two-week standoff that started as an environmentalist rally but later morphed into a broader protest against Mr. Erdogan’s government.
Five people, including a policeman, have died and more than 5,000 have been injured, according to a Turkish rights group.
Riot police on Saturday emptied Istanbul’s Gezi Park, next to Taksim Square, ending an 18-day sit-in by protesters against plans to redevelop the park.