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Murad Sezer

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Early this morning, Turkish riot police stormed Taksim Square, the center of recent anti-government protests in Istanbul, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at firework-hurling demonstrators, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today he had "no more tolerance" for the mass anti-government demonstrations that have engulfed the country and killed three protesters and one police officer. [40 photos]

A protester tries to remain standing as police use a water cannon during clashes at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 11, 2013. Hundreds of police in riot gear forced their way through barricades in the square early Tuesday, pushing many of the protesters who had occupied the square for more than a week into a nearby park. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)     

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An undercurrent of explosive anger at the government of Turkey found a fuse on May 31 as a protest over the demolition of a public park in Istanbul quickly spread to other cities and encompassed simmering passions on broader issues in Turkish political life. Police have used tear gas and water canons to break up the protests, which have grown as demonstrators express opposition to what they view as the increasing authoritarianism of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. -- Lane Turner (29 photos total)
Tear gas surrounds a protestor holding a Turkish flag with a portrait of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, as he takes part in protests against the Turkish Prime Minister and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on June 1, 2013. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)     

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Syrians by the thousands are fleeing the violence in their home country and seeking refuge in neighboring countries. Turkey this week is said to be considering a buffer zone in Syria to secure its own national security as well as aid fleeing civilians. Turkey is already sheltering some 17,000 of those who have fled. The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Tuesday that nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the yearlong conflict in Syria. A cease-fire agreement accepted by Syria Tuesday that was drawn up by United Nations envoy Kofi Annan was met with skepticism, and fighting continued between rebels and President Bashar Assad’s soldiers. -- Lloyd Young (32 photos total)
Syrian refugees are seen through a barbed wire as they arrive at border between Syria and Turkey, near Reyhanli, Hatay province, on March 27. Syrian President Bashar Assad's crackdown on dissent, which monitors say has seen more than 9,100 people killed since March 2011, triggered an influx of refugees on the Turkish border as officials say the current number exceeds 17,000. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

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It's time once more for a look into the animal kingdom and our interactions with the countless other species that share our planet. Today's photos include a fiery Spanish festival, a frightening encounter with a leopard in India, a flamingo undergoing laser treatment, a new species named in honor of entertainer Beyonce, and the plight of Ukraine's "vodka bears". These images and many others are part of this roundup of animals in the news from recent weeks, seen from the perspectives of their human observers, companions, captors, and caretakers. [42 photos]

A man rides a horse through a bonfire on January 16, 2012 in the small village of San Bartolome de Pinares, Spain. In honor of San Anton, the patron saint of animals, horses are ridden through the bonfires on the night before the official day of honoring animals in Spain. (Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

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When dictators are overthrown by rebel or military forces, their many elaborate palaces, mansions and bunkers are evacuated, left behind for the new forces to rummage through.

From Saddam Hussein’s palace, Maqar-el-Tharthar, a massive residence at Lake Tharthar, to Moamer Kadhafi’s homes and his families homes scattered throughout Libya, the first peek into their lavish lifestyles come to life as rebels enter each residence.

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American soldiers patrolled inside a palace which belonged to Uday Hussein in Baghdad, Thursday, April 10, 2003. The palace was heavily bomed by coalition airpower. (Tyler Hicks/The New York Times) #

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Soldiers and civilians occupy the office of ousted Romanian Leader Ceaucescu in the Central Committee headquarters 26 December 1989 in Bucharest. Nicolae Ceaucescu and his wife Elena has been executed 25 December 1989. (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Anti-Communist soldier (L) sticks a bayonet through a portrait of late Romanian Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu 28 December 1989 in Sibiu as the anti-Communist uprising to end Nicolae Ceausescu's 24 years of dictatorial rule continue. The communist dictator N. Ceausescu and his wife Elena were deposed and executed by a firing squad 25 December 1989. Eight years after the December 1989 revolution which toppled Ceausescu, Romania has begun lifting the veil on the "mysteries" surrounding the uprising and the circumstances which brought former president Ion Iliescu to power. According to general prosecutor Sorin Moisescu, reports put about at the time of "terrorists loyal to Ceausescu" provoking bloody diversions to sow panic in the population, were "fabricated" to justify Iliescu's takeover. "Nothing that happened after 22 December 1989 was due to chance. The deaths of some of the demonstrators were supposed to provide legitimacy to the new regime" Moisecu said 24 December 1998. (Photo credit should read MICHEL GANGNE/AFP/Getty Images) #

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An inside view of the Saddam Hussein's palace, Maqar-el-Tharthar is seen on June 11, 2003 at Lake Tharthar, Iraq. Saddam celebrated his birthday in 1999 by building Maqar-el-Tharthar, the so-called "Green Palace" which is the biggest and most elaborate of President Saddam's palaces. It covers two and a half square miles and consists of a Presidential and VIP residential compounds; it is the second only to the President's Tikrit residence in overall size. The complex was not bombed by Coalition forces but has been completely looted afterwards by Iraqis. (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images) #

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An Iraqi woman and her daughter cross a smoke filled intersection with looted tables April 11, 2003 in downtown Baghdad, Iraq. Widespread looting of both government buildings and private businesses is rampant across Baghdad following the collapse of local authority after coalition forces took the city. (Photo by Scott Nelson/Getty Images) #

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A US soldier sits in a seat at the Radwaniyah Palace used during the toppled regime of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as a reception palace for guests near Baghdad's international airport 25 June 2003. The international press was taken on a tour of the palaces by the US military, three months after the fall of Baghdad. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images #

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A journalist films inside one of the main reception rooms of toppled leader Saddam Hussein's 'Peace Palace' or 'Qasr al-Salam' in Baghdad 25 June 2003. The international press was taken on a tour of the palaces by the US military, three months after the fall of Baghdad. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images #

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A US soldier sits on the stairs at the entrance of toppled Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's damaged 'Peace Palace' or 'Qasr al-Salam' in Baghdad 25 June 2003. The international press was taken on a tour of the palaces by the US military, three months after the fall of Baghdad. TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images #

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U.S. Army Specialist Ureses Zamora, from Las Vegas, Nevada, of the 4th Infantry Division, usues a laptop in a former palace of Saddam Hussein November 12, 2003 in a former Saddam Hussein palace in Tikrit, Iraq. The soldiers are living in relative comfort as they continue to pursue the enemy in Saddam Hussein's hometown. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) #

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CAMP VICTORY, IRAQ - JULY 1: Soldiers stand at attention during a change of command ceremony July 1, 2004 in Camp Victory, Iraq. Gen. Casey took command of the forces from Gen. Sanchez in a change of command ceremony at the elaborate Al-Faw Palace in Camp Victory. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images) #

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** FILE ** U.S. Army soldiers Spc. Daniel Andrews of Lynchburg, Va., left, and Pvt. Robert Knott of Fort Hood, Tex., both from Alfa Company-588 swim in an indoor pool at one of ousted Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's palaces, now a U.S. Army base, in Tikrit, Iraq, Monday Sept. 1, 2003. U.S. soldiers stationed here in this riverside palace complex that once belonged to Saddam Hussein face constant danger from Iraqi insurgents whenever they leave the base. But once inside, they are getting to kick back inincreasing style. (AP Photo/Murad Sezer) #

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A US Army soldier from the 1-22 Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division (Task Force Ironhorse) shoots the ball during a basketball game inside one of ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein's former palaces along the banks of the Tigris river in Tikrit, 180km (110 miles) north of Baghdad, 23 November 2003. With their marble interiors, domed roofs and intricate arabesque stucco, the headquarters of the 4th ID look more like a vision from a Middle Eastern fairy tale than a military camp. The resort-like series of palaces now called Forward Base Ironhorse used to be a favorite resting place of Saddam before US-led coalition forces ousted him in April. AFP PHOTO/Mauricio LIMA (Photo credit should read MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES: Visitors view the bedroom of Imelda Marcos at the Santo Nino shrine 13 October 2004 that was sequestered by the government. When the former first lady built the mansion in 1981 in her hometown Tacloban, it was dubbed by many as the Malacanang presidential palace of the south. The mansion named after religious icon of the Child Jesus stands as a monument to the obscene excesses of the Marcos years whenthe late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was deposed by military-backed people power revolt in 1986 after 20 years in power. AFP PHOTO ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

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TACLOBAN, PHILIPPINES: The bathroom with jacuzzi of the former first lady Imelda Marcos at the Santo Nino shrine 13 October 2004 that was sequestered by the government. When Imelda built the mansion in 1981 in her hometown Tacloban, it was dubbed by many as the Malacanang presidential palace of the south. The mansion named after religious icon of the Child Jesus stands as a monument to the obscene excesses of the Marcos years when the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in 1986 by a military-backed people power revolt after 20 years in power. AFP PHOTO ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

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BAGHDAD, Iraq: Iraqi soldiers gestures to a giant mural of ousted Iraqi Dictator Saddam Hussein still hanging in of his former palaces in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone in this image taken 19 October 2005. Once a Pan Arab champion, Saddam the feared Iraqi leader will go on trial 28 November 2005 on charges linked to the killing of 148 Shiite villagers. AFP PHOTO/KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images) #

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HILLAH, IRAQ, APRIL 21: A worker makes a bed inside a marbled room where Saddam supposedly once slept, at one of the former dictator 's palace villas, which can be rented for about USD170 a night on April 21, 2009 in the city of Hillah in Babil province about 50 miles south of Baghdad, Iraq. The Palace, which is adjacent to the remains of the ancient city of Babylon, was purged of anything of value by looters as Saddam's regime fell in April 2003 and then occupied by US and coalition forces until late 2006. The palace was opened to public who can visit it for about 85 US cents. Some of its surrounded villas have been converted into hotel rooms. (Photo by Muhannad Fala'ah/Getty Images) #

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A looter carries away a chair inside Saddam Hussein's main palace in Baghdad 12 April, 2003. Looting has plagued Baghdad and other Iraqi cities since US forces won control of the capital 09 April. Hundreds of Iraqis, including police officers, answered 12 April an urgent US appeal to help restore order and services to Baghdad after an orgy of looting followed weeks of heavy coalition bombardment. AFP PHOTO ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images) #

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US Army Sergeant Craig Zentkovich from Connecticut belonging to the 1st Brigade Combat Team photographs a pink bedroom at Saddam Hussein's presidential palace 13 April 2003. The palace is located in a vast military compound near the airport southwest of the capital. AFP PHOTO/Romeo GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A US marine walks inside the presidential palace in Port-Au-Prince 09 March 2004. Troops from France, the US and Chile have poured into the country in an effort to stabilize the country after former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide fled the country 29 February 2004. AFP PHOTO/Jaime RAZURI (Photo credit should read JAIME RAZURI/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A soldier of the rebel Alliance of Laurent-Desire Kabila, surrounded by looters, uses his weapon to hit a photograph of ousted Zairean President Mobutu Sese Seko 20 May 1997 in the house the former leader kept at the Tshatshi military camp in Kinshasa. In October 1996, Zairean opposition leader Laurent Desire Kabila, as head of the newly formed Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire, rallied forces consisting mostly of Tutsi from eastern Zaire and launched a full-scale rebellion against Mobutu, forcing him to flee the country, following failed peace talks in May 1997. On 17 May 1997, Kabila installed himself as head of state after his troops took control of Kinshasa and renamed the country the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Photo credit should read PASCAL GUYOT/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Afghan youth play football in front of the ruins of the Darul Aman Palace in Kabul on December 3, 2010. Afghan government officials hit back at "stupid" allegations made in leaked US diplomatic cables about corruption but refused to comment on a damning assessment of President Hamid Karzai. Deputy presidential spokesman Hamed Elmi downplayed documents released by Internet whistleblower WikiLeaks as "not much new," with "nothing substantive to negatively affect our good relations with the international community". AFP PHOTO/Massoud HOSSAINI (Photo credit should read MASSOUD HOSSAINI/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A child stands in a room of the former palace of late dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, in Gbadolite, on November 24, 2010. Mobutu built two private residences and an official presidential palace among other buildings in Gbadolite and Kawele. Mobutu came to power in a 1965 coup, five years after the central African nation gained independence from Belgium. He ruled Zaire for 32 years, plunging the country into a long economic crisis marked by state corruption, the embezzlement of funds and excessive luxuries. AFP PHOTO / GWENN DUBOURTHOUMIEU (Photo credit should read Gwenn Dubourthoumieu/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Tunisian workers remove on January 17, 2011 portraits of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from the prime minister's office in Tunis. Tunisian protesters on January 17 called for the abolition of Ben Ali's ruling party amid a chaotic power vacuum as politicians prepared a government of national unity. The Moroccan press welcomed on January 17 the fall of Ben Ali after weeks of street protests, and said it was a lesson for north Africa and the Arab world. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Libyan rebel stands inside the front door of a luxurious complex that rebels and local residents claim to be the holiday home of the Kadhafi family in Ain Zara close to Tripoli, on August 31, 2011. Numerous luxury buildings have been discovered by rebels as they get increased access to areas after the ouster of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and his loyalist forces. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A general shot shows the gardens of a luxurious complex that rebels and local residents claim to be the holiday home of the Kadhafi family in Ain Zara close to Tripoli, on August 31, 2011. Numerous luxury buildings have been discovered by Libyan rebels as they get increased access to areas after ousted Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and his loyalist forces were forced to abandon their residences. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A general view shows a luxurious complex that rebels and local residents claim to be the holiday home of the Kadhafi family in Ain Zara close to Tripoli, on August 31, 2011. Numerous luxury buildings have been discovered by rebels as they get increased access to areas after the ouster of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and his loyalist forces. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Libyan rebel walks past a swimming pool outside the mansion of Motassem Kadhafi, a son of Libya's embattled leader, in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Libya's rebels issued an ultimatum for Moamer Kadhafi's forces to surrender or face a military onslaught, as NATO said the strongman is still able to command his troops despite being on the run. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Libyan rebels inspect the mansion of Motassem Kadhafi, a son of Libya's embattled leader, in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Libya's rebels issued an ultimatum for Moamer Kadhafi's forces to surrender or face a military onslaught, as NATO said the strongman is still able to command his troops despite being on the run. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Libyan rebels inspect an empty swimming pool at the mansion of Motassem Kadhafi, a son of Libya's embattled leader, in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Libya's rebels issued an ultimatum for Moamer Kadhafi's forces to surrender or face a military onslaught, as NATO said the strongman is still able to command his troops despite being on the run. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Libyan rebel poses for a souvenir picture outside the mansion of Motassem Kadhafi, a son of Libya's embattled leader, in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Libya's rebels issued an ultimatum for Moamer Kadhafi's forces to surrender or face a military onslaught, as NATO said the strongman is still able to command his troops despite being on the run. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Former Abu Slim prisoner, Sami Sadiq Abu Ruwais, stands next to a swimming pool inside a luxurious complex that rebels and local residents claim to be the holiday home of the Kadhafi family in Ain Zara close to Tripoli, on August 31, 2011. Numerous luxury buildings have been discovered by rebels as they get increased access to areas after the ouster of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi and his loyalist forces. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images) #

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A Libyan rebel inspects an underground network of bunkers under the mansion of Motassem Kadhafi, a son of Libya's embattled leader, in Tripoli on August 30, 2011. Libya's rebels issued an ultimatum for Moamer Kadhafi's forces to surrender or face a military onslaught, as NATO said the strongman is still able to command his troops despite being on the run. AFP PHOTO/PATRICK BAZ (Photo credit should read PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images) #

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Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, began earlier this month with the sighting of the new moon. Throughout this ninth month on the Islamic calendar, devout Muslims must abstain from food, drink, and sex from dawn until sunset. The fast, one of the five pillars of Islam, is seen as a time for spiritual reflection, prayers, and charity. After sunset, Muslims traditionally break the fast by eating three dates, performing the Maghrib prayer, and sitting down to Iftar, the main evening meal, where communities and families gather together. Collected below are images of Muslims around the world observing Ramadan this year. [42 photos]

Palestinian women stand in front of a window decoration of Islam's crescent moon and star on the eve of Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan in the West Bank city of Jenin, on July 31, 2011. (Saif Dahlah/AFP/Getty Images)

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Muslims around the globe have begun their holiest month of the year by giving up food, drink, smoking and other physical needs from dawn till dusk each day. In many communities, large dinner gatherings are held each evening to break the fast. The month also marks a time for Muslims to reexamine their lives through the prism of Islamic teachings. -- Lloyd Young (38 photos total)
A student reads the Koran before morning prayer on the holy month of Ramadan at the Al-Mukmin Islamic boarding school in Solo, Indonesia Central Java province, August 2. (Beawiharta/Reuters)

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