Trade unions claiming 240,000 members are throwing their weight behind anti-government demonstrations across Turkey.
The KESK confederation of public sector workers was calling a two-day strike starting Tuesday to protest what it called the "fascism" of the governing party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has become one of the focal points of demonstrators' anger.
They have united demonstrators from across the political spectrum against a common foe: security forces who unleashed tear gas and water cannons on them in response to what had been largely peaceful protests against Erdogan's government.
The Turkish Medical Association claimed that at least 3,195 people had been injured in clashes Sunday and Monday. Only 26 of them were in serious or critical condition, it said.
Kurdish militants have released eight Turkish civil servants who were kidnapped in eastern Turkey and held hostage in northern Iraq, according to Turkey's semi-official Anadolu news agency.
The Kurdish separatist group PKK had kidnapped the eight in various eastern Turkish provinces on different dates, Anadolu reported.
Adil Kurt, a member of Turkey's Parliament, said Wednesday that the eight released hostages were in a convoy heading from Iraq to the Turkish border and were expected to arrive in Turkey Wednesday afternoon.
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