Saturday, 1 June 2013

Erdogan's Comment on Taksim Protests

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally talked about the demonstrations in Taksim.
Here are his word:
"I want my people to understand what game is being played. You can see what has been happening in the demonstrations against the demolition of Gezi Park. What is the reason for all this? They say that trees will be cut down and the (historical) military barracks (Topçu Kışlası) will be rebuilt. But the current demolition in Taksim has nothing to do with the military barracks. And if you want to hear something about the military barracks, we will build them whatever the costs are. Taksim will be a pedestrian area and we will also make it greener."

About the excessive force used by the police, Erdogan stated: "The police was there, is there and will be there. There are some mistakes in the excessive use of tear gas. The ministry is investigating this issue. But it is sometimes necessary to use tear gas."

"Once again I want : every citizen of this country has the right to freely express himself/herself. Every citizen of this country has the right to protest according to the democratic and legal framework. But nobody is allowed to organize illegal demonstrations, occupy places, or harm the small retailers and the citizens living in that neighbourhood. And particularly, nobody has the right to create excuses because of trees that will be cut down and thus create a tension in our country."

The opposition party is planning to organize a demonstration today in Kadiköy, at the other side of the Bosphorus. Erdoğan's comment on this issue contradicts what he said about the democratic right to demonstrate: "They are planning to organize a demonstration in Kadiköy today. If you provoke people there, you will never be forgiven. When it comes to demonstrations, we can gather a million people whereas they can only gather a hundred thousand. This would be no problem for us. But they should not bring us to that point!"

Erdoğan concluded his speech as follows: "I kindly ask the protesters to end the demonstrations. And please inform yourselves through confidential sources."

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