News / Europe

Erdogan Says It Was His 'Duty' to Evict Protesters

Supporters of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan march holding a huge Turkish flag during a rally of ruling AK party in Istanbul Jun. 16, 2013.
Supporters of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan march holding a huge Turkish flag during a rally of ruling AK party in Istanbul Jun. 16, 2013.
VOA News
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told hundreds of thousands of supporters it was his "duty" to evict activists from an Istanbul park.

Speaking at a massive rally Sunday, Erdogan said two weeks of street protests were manipulated by "terrorists." He dismissed opposition allegations that he was behaving like a dictator and he criticized foreign media coverage of the protests.

As he spoke, riot police in central Istanbul fired tear gas to stop protesters from regrouping in the main Taksim Square, after police forcibly drove them out of a nearby park that has been the center of protests against Erdogan's government.

The prime minister said his patience with the demonstrators had ended. Security forces used tear gas and water cannons to clear the park on Saturday evening.

Protests against government plans to tear down the park for new construction started two weeks ago but quickly built into nationwide protests against Erdogan. The protesters accuse him of imposing his conservative Islamic views on the country.

The prime minister told protesters last week that he would put redevelopment plans for the park on hold until a court rules on them. He also said he would hold a referendum on the issue if the court rules in the government's favor.

  • Protesters are attacked by a police water cannon at the entrance to Gezi Park near Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 15, 2013.
  • Protesters try to resist the advance of riot police in Gezi Park in Istanbul, Turkey, Saturday, June 15, 2013.
  • Riot police fires a water cannon on Gezi Park protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, June 15, 2013.
  • A protester runs through tents covered by tear gas in Gezi Park in Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 15, 2013.
  • People run as riot police fire a water cannon on Gezi Park protesters at Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 15, 2013.
  • Turkish riot police fire tear gas after chasing protestors out of Gezi Park in Istanbul, Saturday, June 15, 2013.
  • Protesters are evacuated from Gezi Park by riot police at Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 15, 2013.
  • Riot police fire tear gas and a water cannon at Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 15, 2013.
  • Riot police use a water cannon to disperse anti-government protesters at Taksim Square in central Istanbul, June 15, 2013.
  • An injured protester is helped in the basement of a hotel where protesters took shelter next to Gezi Park near Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 15, 2013.
  • Protesters are attacked by a police water cannon next to Gezi Park near Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 15, 2013.
  • A child suffering from tear gas inhalation is carried by a protester in the basement of the Divan hotel, where protesters took shelter, next to Gezi Park near Istanbul's Taksim Square, June 15, 2013.
  • Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a rally in Sincan, June 15, 2013. Erdogan warned protesters occupying a central Istanbul park that they should leave before a ruling party rally on Sunday or face eviction by the security forces.
  • A supporter of Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan watches a rally organized by the ruling Justice and Development Party in Ankara, June 15, 2013.
  • A woman listens to the speech of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during his rally in Ankara, June 15, 2013.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
June 16, 2013 8:58 PM
Erdogan has the duty to evict the protesters from Taskin Square, but no responsibility to the other 50% of the people of Turkey!
In Response

by: Wolf
June 17, 2013 12:01 AM
Go occupy wall street and quit sticking your nose into other people's business

by: indio007 from: Cambridge, Ma
June 16, 2013 7:03 PM
This is what happens to an unarmed population.
In Response

by: Wolf
June 17, 2013 12:02 AM
Try to think. I know it is difficult for you but anyway try. If they were armed the GOV would use Manguatas, and Altay's on their rears.

by: Mother of 12
June 16, 2013 6:39 PM
Erdogan is right in defining democracy as a dictatorship of the majority. That's how it works in most modern democracies except the US. In a parliamentary democracy John Boehner would be prime minister and his Republicans would be running the government.

The problem for the protesters is that they have no political representation. Turkey's two opposition parties are disastrously out of date and ineffective. Hence the only option left to non-supporters of Erdogan's government is some form of non-partisan protest along the lines of the Occupy movement.

by: RobG from: Maine, USA
June 16, 2013 6:01 PM
Hardly think that these protestors were "terrorists" as Erdogan claims. He certainly sounds and seems to be acting as a dictator. Question: Was it Obama's "duty" to evict the "occupy" mobs?

by: Raymond from: London
June 16, 2013 5:54 PM
He got voted in by the majority and people should respect that. I agree with Erdogan that outside media had a part to play in this.
I hope Erdogan wins the next elections....

by: Taz Nizami from: California, USA
June 16, 2013 4:16 PM
In democracy everybody has equal rights, yes within the Rule of Law. If outsiders are involved in this unrest as indicated by the Prime Minister then he should in due course bring the evidence to public. I hope he would do that. There is however growing evidence coming to light on the role of social as well as News Media to sensationalize the events and outside Govts and their intelligence agencies having used public media to their policy aims. This is a shame as journalism is supposed to to tell balanced and stories in the greater interest of public and society. This kind of tactics have been used across the Muslim world especially to stir trouble where ever Pro- Religious Governments have come to power. Is this an attempt to Re- assert colonialism by Europe? or have geo political motives? May be the later ones. In many places where people elected a Govt that the West did not like or did not have the Western values have faced hooliganism and disturbances, cases in example Gaza, Egypt and may be now Turkey. why after all the West is so terrified by Islamic Govts that they do not want them to succeed, I don't know. In Erdogan's case what goes around comes around. What he participated with Europe to create trouble in neighboring Syria may be coming back to him. Muslims are stupid. Shame what is going on in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan and they are killing each other just for who is Sunni and Shia. I do not see in any Christian country people killing each other for being Catholic, Protestant or any of the rest of many other sundry sects of Christianity. For heaven's sake have mercy on millions of innocent children and women and single bread earners in many cases being maimed in millions leaving behind helpless children to starvation and hunger. Syria was a peaceful secular country where all religions and sects were living in peace and harmony, yes some were disadvantaged always are even in United States the most powerful and richest country in the world but by and large there was peace. Who ever have participated in the murder of 93,000 plus innocent people and number growing everyday has a blood on their hands, would eventually pay for their crime may it be Erdogan or any one that's the rule of Nature and Lord of the world.
In Response

by: Wolf
June 17, 2013 12:03 AM
Sorry pal, Turkey is not in the EU for them to accept your rules. They have their own rules
In Response

by: Nick from: B
June 16, 2013 9:34 PM
Review your history sir.
The church has split during 10 century and Vatican became the headrest of Catholicism while the old, Byzantine Orthodox capital Constantinopolis, modern day Istanbul remained. This did not go totally in peace. Even to this day there is a rift between Copts, Maronites, Orthodo-catholics
Catholics vs Lutherans middle ages ... Catholics vs Orthodox (Balkan's past 2 centuries most recent in Croatia and Serbia). US ... protestants vs lutherans ... basically take any off shoot of any main stream religion and you will find blood. Sectarian violence is not indigenous to a Islam. Yes even Judaism is very secterianized. Ashkenazi vs Esterhazy vs Orthodox Jews and others ... Indian Buddhists vs Japanese ...

Syria was a peaceful secular country where as you say all were living in peace in harmony. However, it by no means was a "free" country. If you truly believe that, my guess is you are either
a. not of Syrian origin b. or have lived and travelled to Syria from Airport to Damascus or other major airport to a major city. That my good sir was the 10% of Syria. The other less privileged 90% who lives in the countryside did not like the despotic rule of self proclaimed presidential dynasty. My father helped elect through revolution and than worked for that government and, god rest his soul, couldn't take it anymore when the old dog received 99.99% of the electoral vote. Year after year. That was not democratic, so he quit in late 70s. What you are seeing today was long coming. People couldn't take it any more.
In Response

by: Nick Parsons from: New York, USA
June 16, 2013 5:56 PM
"Is this an attempt to Re- assert colonialism by Europe?"

Um no, this is a blatant attempt by the US to assert colonialism.

Obama even publicly admitted that we are giving the rebels advanced weapons, that is social engineering and colonialism.
a
How you feel about what the Europeans did last century, is how other people feel about what the US is doing RIGHT NOW.

Turkey wants to voluntarily join the EU, this is the opposite of colonialism.

by: deniz
June 16, 2013 3:09 PM
Huge, how many? I have counted approximately 30 thousand from the aerial pictures (I am a PHD Statistician). There were more than 1 million demonstrating against him at the same time. Are you sure you aren't a biased journalist.
In Response

by: Wolf
June 17, 2013 12:04 AM
Hussein he is a liar and we all know that
In Response

by: hussein from: istanbul
June 16, 2013 6:52 PM
pls dont try to manupulate public.
if you cant count. wait the elections. and pls say the number of supporters how many millions support Erdoğan. ok?


by: nadeltanz
June 16, 2013 2:42 PM
Dictator in a Democracy. In vogue.

by: Max
June 16, 2013 2:36 PM
This is the playbook for how Americans will lose their freedom one day. We should all pay more attention.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More