The Turkish deputy prime minister has said that the army could be deployed to halt protests that have swept the nation over the past two weeks.
Bulent Arinc on Monday said the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) could be pressed into action if the police failed to restore order.
“What is required of us is to stop if there is a protest against the law. Here is the police, if not enough gendarme, if not TSK,” he said in a televised interview to the A Haber channel.
The threat came as members of two union federations in Turkey went on a one-day strike over the forced evictions of protesters from Istanbul’s Gezi Park a day earlier.
Labour groups representing doctors, engineers and dentists are also said to have joined the strike on Monday. The striking groups represent about 800,000 workers.
The Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said the strike was “illegal” and warned of police action.
Riot police backed by a helicopter, some in plain clothes and carrying batons, fired teargas and chased groups of rock-throwing youths into side streets around the iconic Taksim Square and Gezi Park late on Sunday night, trying to prevent them from regrouping.
There were also disturbances in other parts of the city that had so far largely been spared the violence, including around the Galata bridge, which crosses to the historic Sultanahmet district, and the upmarket Nisantasi neighbourhood.