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

Photogallery US to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Expanded Ebola Effort

update At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Obama is to announce troop deployment, other details of US plans to fight Ebola outbreak More

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid