Death toll rises to 5 in Turkey protests

Associated Press
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Protesters play soccer as police forces guards the Taksim Square in Istanbul on Thursday, June 13, 2013. Turkey's government on Wednesday offered a first concrete gesture aimed at ending nearly two weeks of street protests, proposing a referendum on a development project in Istanbul that triggered demonstrations that have become the biggest challenge to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's 10-year tenure. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A lawyer says a protester injured during clashes with Turkish riot police has died, raising the death toll to five from the two-week standoff between police and activists that has challenged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government.

The protests centered on Istanbul's Taksim Square looked set to continue Thursday despite a referendum offer over a contested development plan presented a day earlier by Erdogan's party.

Family lawyer Sema Aksoy said 26-year-old Ether Sarisuluk — who had been on a life support for days — was pronounced dead Thursday. He was believed to have been hit in the head by a tear gas canister during protests in Ankara on June 1.

A human rights group says thousands of people were treated for injuries in protests that began May 31.