News / Europe

    Turkish PM Says Re-Development Plans Will Continue

    Protesters greet each other near a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, at Gezi Park near Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 6, 2013.
    Protesters greet each other near a portrait of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, at Gezi Park near Taksim Square in Istanbul, June 6, 2013.
    VOA News
    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government will continue with its controversial plans to overhaul a small park in central Istanbul, despite widespread anti-government protests sparked by public opposition to the plan.

    During a news conference in Tunisia Thursday, Erdogan said "terror groups" were involved in the protests, which started as an environmental demonstration, and seven foreigners were among the protesters who have been arrested.

    Erdogan returns to his country later today after spending several days in North Africa as protesters at home called for his resignation.

    Critics accuse him of governing in an authoritarian manner and imposing his Islamic views on a secular nation.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
    x
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses supporters and lawmakers at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, May 14, 2013.
    The prime minister has dismissed the protests as bitterness by the opposition over lost elections, and said the demonstrators have no support among most Turks.

    The deputy head of Erdogan's party, Huseyin Celik, urged supporters not to mass at the airport Thursday to show support for the prime minister.

    Police used tear gas to break up protesters Wednesday night in central Ankara, while Istanbul was mainly quiet.  

    Earlier Wednesday, protesters gave Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc a list of demands, including firing officials responsible for using force against the marchers.  

    Two people have been killed, thousands hurt, and thousands of others arrested since last week. Arinc has apologized for the police response.

    The protesters also demanded freedom for all those who have been jailed, and for the government to halt its plans to build on the park site.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.


    • Riot police officers gather in central Ankara, Turkey, June 10, 2013.
    • An anti-government protester gestures during a demonstration in central Ankara, June 9, 2013.
    • Anti-government protesters remove bricks from a sidewalk to build a barricade in central Ankara, June 9, 2013.
    • Riot police chase protesters at Kizilay Square in central Ankara, June 9, 2013.
    • Supporters of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan listen to his speech at the Ankara airport, June 9, 2013.
    • Supporters of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cheer upon his arrival at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, June 7, 2013.
    • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan waves to supporters after arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, June 7, 2013.
    • Pedestrians walk among tents set up by protesters in Gezi park, Taksim Square, Istanbul, June 6, 2013.
    • People observe a destroyed urban bus with a destination sign that reads ''This bus goes to Dictator'' at Taksim Square, Istanbul, June 6, 2013.
    • Thousands of protesters gather for another rally at Taksim Square in Istanbul, Turkey, June 3, 2013.
    • Protesters carry the Turkish flag and shout anti-government slogans during a demonstration at Gezi Park near Taksim Squar, Istanbul, June 3, 2013.

    You May Like

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora