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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid