Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will increase police powers following a wave of anti-government protests.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will increase police powers following a wave of anti-government protests.

The announcement came Tuesday as police carried out raids and detained dozens of people suspected of involvement in violence against officers.

The government has been criticized for the disproportionate use of force by the police in anti-government protests that swept Turkey for over two weeks. It was a brutal operation against peaceful environmental protesters in Istanbul park on May 31 that sparked nationwide demonstrations and dented Erdogan’s international image.

Erdogan defended the police saying they had acted with restraint and within their “rights.”

Erdogan said: “We shall strengthen police … so that it has increased powers of intervention.”