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Thousands in pro-Erdogan demo in Vienna

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June 23, 2013 11:17 AM EST | AP


VIENNA — Several thousand people have taken part in a demonstration in Vienna in support of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Police said about 8,000 people participated in Sunday's pro-Erdogan demonstration in the Austrian capital_ many waving red-and-white Turkish flags and some carrying banners with pictures of the Turkish leader.

About 600 people took part in a separate protest against a crackdown on anti-government demonstrations in Turkey.

Protests in Turkey erupted three weeks ago after riot police brutally cracked down on environmental activists opposing plans to develop Istanbul's Gezi Park.

The demonstrations soon turned into expressions of discontent against Erdogan, who won a third term in office in 2011 elections. His critics say he is showing increasingly authoritarian tendencies.

Austria has a sizeable Turkish community.