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Turkey: Erdogan rejects any Turkish Spring

Kader Kadem | 15:58 | 0 Comments
Turkish Spring; Since Friday, the protest of a handful of activists against the proposed destruction of an Istanbul public park has gradually gained throughout TurkeyThe clashes resumed on Monday for the fourth consecutive day in Turkey between police and demonstrators opposed to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has denied any authoritarian drift and rejected the possibility of a "Turkish Spring".

In the wake of another night of violence between police and protesters in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir (west) of the incidents included in the afternoon in the Turkish capital, where police dispersed jet grenades tear a group of a thousand people, mostly students and young people, gathered in the city center.

Very sure of himself, the head of government, the main target of the protest, left in mid-day Turkey for a four-day tour in the Maghreb countries by repeating it would not bow facing the street.

"We remain firm (...) calm down, we will go beyond this," said Mr Erdogan to the media. "My country will give its response in this election (note: the 2014 local elections)," he said, confident of its electoral strength, "if we really undemocratic practices, we reverse our nation."

"Yes, we are now in the spring but we will not let him become a winter," he added in reference to the "spring" Arab.

On a more conciliatory tone, Turkish President Abdullah Gul called him Monday to calm the protesters and taken again, the opposite of the head of government.

A democracy does not mean only (a win) elections (...) It is quite natural to express different opinions (...) by peaceful demonstrations, "said Gul to the press.

Since Friday, the protest of a handful of activists against the proposed destruction of an Istanbul public park has gradually gained throughout Turkey.

Accused of authoritarian drift and wanting to "Islamize" Turkish society, Erdogan is now facing a protest movement on an unprecedented scale since the coming to power of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP, from the Islamist movement) in 2002.

On the night of Sunday to Monday, violent incidents have objected to the new police and thousands of demonstrators in Istanbul, around offices Erdogan in Ankara and in the residential area of ​​Kavaklidere, where protesters chanted "Nobody wants you Tayyip!".

Police Brutality

Sunday, the Turkish police also dispersed unceremoniously several events in Izmir (west), Adana (south) or Gaziantep (south-east), making whenever many wounded. Many protesters cited by Turkish television denounced the brutality of police.

The violence of the last three days have been over a thousand injured in Istanbul and at least 700 in Ankara, organizations defending human rights and doctors' unions in both cities.

These figures have not been confirmed by the authorities, the Minister of the Interior Muammer Güler Sunday citing a review of 58 civilians and 115 police injured during the 235 events recorded since last Tuesday in 67 cities.

According to Güler, the police had arrested more than 1,700 demonstrators Sunday in the country, most quickly released.

Symbolic heart of the uprising, the Taksim Square Monday regained a semblance of normalcy. By mid-afternoon, only a few hundred people, including tourists, are strolling in the sun.

Most shops have reopened but barricades still blocking the surrounding streets, a sign of the determination of protesters do not get back control of the place by the police, who deserted on Saturday order government.

In the morning, about 3,000 people marched several kilometers away, outside the headquarters of Dogus Media Group, to denounce the "submission" in the Turkish press, accused of failing to realize the extent of the protest.

The brutality of the repression has been heavily criticized, both in Turkey and in foreign countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom or France.

Even within the government, several dissenting voices were heard to lament the brutality of the police action. As Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, who advocated dialogue "rather than pulling the gas on people."

The Prime Minister acknowledged that "mistakes" had been made by the police and promised sanctions against its excesses. But he repeated that he would lead the urban development project challenged from Taksim Square to the end. And as a challenge to the demonstrators, added Sunday that there would build a mosque.
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