Germany says Ankara sending 'wrong signal' on protests

BERLIN (Reuters) - The Turkish government is sending the wrong signal at home and abroad with its reaction to protests, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Wednesday, describing pictures from Istanbul's central Taksim square as "disturbing".

Turkish riot police fought running battles with pockets of protesters overnight, clearing the square, which has been at the center of nearly two weeks of protests against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

"We expect Prime Minister Erdogan to deescalate the situation, in the spirit of European values, and to seek a constructive exchange and peaceful dialogue," Westerwelle said in a statement.

(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)