"We knew about the protest the day before we left Venice, we called our ministry of foreign affairs to find out about the situation here. We were told that the situation in most of the cities was quiet, and the protest was limited to (Taksim) Square."
11. Wide of Istanbul skyline; Turkish flag attached to house
Istanbul's cultural attractions remained open Tuesday with unconcerned tourists still lining up for entrance tickets despite a fifth day of violent anti-government protests in several parts of the city.
Tourists at the Hagia Sofia mosque said that they came to Turkey even though they knew the protests were happening.
"We heard about the protests but we didn't see that as a threat to where we were going on anything, we just came on, we didn't change any of our plans," said American businessman John Bradberry.
At nearby the Sultan Ahmed mosque, Gianluca Cassandro, a 25-year-old radiology technician from Italy, said he had heard about the protests the day before he left Venice, but decided to enjoy his holidays in Turkey nonetheless.
"We called our ministry of foreign affairs to know about the situation here. We were told that the situation in most of the cities was quiet, and the protest was limited to (Taksim) square," he said.
Many of the city's key tourist attractions are well away from the main centres of protest for now.
The anti government demonstrations entered a sixth consecutive day on Wednesday marked by further clashes between police and protesters in Istanbul and the capital Ankara.
Protester have been calling for the resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Protests have been directed at what critics say is Erdogan's aggressive and authoritarian style of governing.
Clashes between police and demonstrators have been severe at times since the demonstrations erupted five days ago where, according to a human rights group, injuring at least 1,300 people.