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Turkish president seeks talks with protesters

Turkey’s president has called for dialogue with non-violent demonstrators after riot police cleared the Istanbul square at the centre of almost two weeks of protest against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Abdullah Gul, who has taken a more conciliatory tone than Erdogan during the unrest, said on Wednesday it was the duty of government to engage with its critics but appeared to close ranks with the prime minister, saying violent protests were a different matter. Erdogan, who has dismissed the demonstrators as “riff-raff”, was due to meet a group of public figures to discuss the unrest, which began as a peaceful campaign against redevelopment plans of Gezi Park in…