Gezi Park protests in Turkey were incited: PM Erdogan
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
ANKARA - The Gezi Park violence was incited at a time when Turkey was breaking records with its successful economic development and internal peace, stability and tranquility, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at the Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group meeting Tuesday.
The protests began on 28 May 2013 as a small environmental demonstration last summer and mushroomed into nationwide anti-government protests after the government allegedly moved to replace part of Gezi Park at the heart of Istanbul with a mall.
Touching upon Turkey's EU membership process Erdogan said, “It has become clear now that Europe needs Turkey, more than Turkey needs Europe.”
“We have been trying to draw attention to racial attacks in Europe for years”, said Erdogan referring to the soaring racial tensions in Europe.
He also referred to his participation in the 10th Founding Anniversary Ceremony of the Union of European Turkish Democrats in Cologne, Germany, on Saturday and said, “the German government permitted an Alevi protest near the site of our meeting in Cologne just to sabotage our program.”
The Prime Minister said, “Some people are trying to incite violence on Alevis in Turkey. The Alevi community should be aware of provocations and should not let themselves be used by anyone. The problem of everyone in Turkey is our own problem and it will be solved.”
The European Federation of Alevi Communities, which has long been critical of Erdogan’s policies, held a mass rally in Cologne’s Ebertplatz, three kilometers away from the congress center where Erdogan addressed a rally.
In response to criticism from Cem Ozdemir, German Greens Party Co-Chairmain who commented that Erdogan has totally lost Germany's support and refuted Ozdemir's suggestion not to visit Germany, Erdogan said, “You should know your limits and first of all respect the Prime Minister of the country you belong to. You are nobody to tell me whether I should come to Germany or not. Despite harsh criticism of both co-chairpersons of the German Greens Party, we have always kept our doors open for them in Turkey.”
Erdogan also commented on the countries who harbor terrorists and operate against Turkey. “We are aware of the countries who provide camps and logistic support to terrorist organization DHKP-C against Turkey,” Erdogan said regarding DHKP-C, which bombed the American Embassy in Ankara in February last year when two people were killed.
On the 54th Anniversary of the 27 May 1960 Military Coup in Turkey Erdogan said, “We respectfully remember the martyrs of our democracy Former Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, Former Foreign Minister Fatin Rustu Zorlu and Former Finance Minister Hasan Polatkan who were executed by the junta in September 1961.”
In May 1960, Turkey's military overthrew then Prime Minister Adnan Menderes who was executed by hanging in September 1961.
Erdogan drew a parallel between the 1960 military coup in Turkey and recent political turmoil due to corruption allegations and wiretap leaks. He said certain media organizations, columnists, journalists, associations, capitalist circles and especially a segment of the judiciary took part in dirty games to prepare ground and conditions suitable for a coup ahead of May 27, 1960.
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