POLITICS > Ruling AKP deputy report criticizes government handling of Gezi crisis

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News

Prime Minister Erdoğan was ‘misled’ about the Gezi Park protests, according to a report prepared by a research center chaired by a ruling party MP

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A police vehicle sprays pressurized water over protesters in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district during an anti-government rally fueled after a Gezi Park protest. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GÜREL

A police vehicle sprays pressurized water over protesters in Istanbul’s Beşiktaş district during an anti-government rally fueled after a Gezi Park protest. DAILY NEWS photo/ Emrah GÜREL

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was misinformed during the Gezi Park protests and the redevelopment project was not handled in a democratic way, said a report prepared by the Eurasia Global Research Center (AGAM), chaired by İdris Bal, a Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy.

The report, called “Taksim Incidents Analysis,” said a small-scale local issue turned into a big crisis and chaos since the prime minister was misguided and became the principal side of the dispute. Bal’s report defined the unrest’s beginning as a “strategic mistake.”

The Gezi Park protests started May 31 when the Metropolitan Municipality bulldozers attempted to demolish central Istanbul’s unique green area, Gezi Park. The Turkish police’s heavy-handed intervention caused the protests to spread to 79 of 81 provinces.

Four protesters were killed by police and some “anti-protest civilians,” and a police officer fell off a bridge during an intervention and died. More than 10 protesters have lost their sight, and nearly 7,000 protesters were injured in almost 40 days of unrest, according to the Turkish Medical Association’s toll.

This could have been avoided by early interventions by the local Beyoğlu Municipality or Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, and Erdoğan would be the actor to resolve the conflict.

The report said the Taksim incidents started with the environmentalist sensitivity of a small group, but the police’s intervention and the lack of dialogue caused the protests to transform to anger at first the prime minister and second at the government.

Dialogue required

The project should have consulted the community, the report also said, adding that democracy-valuing societies require polls and dialogue between people and the local authorities.

A chain of serious problems is seen in the process of the Gezi Park redevelopment project, the report said.

Failing to place the prime minister in the crisis properly caused Erdoğan to become the principal side of the crisis, the report said.

This was a strategic mistake that gave the opportunity to illegal groups waiting in ambush to benefit from chaos, it said.

The report also criticized “ballot box democracy,” saying that winning elections did not mean that governments assumed omnipotent powers and claimed “the luxury to act as they desired until the next election.”

Erdoğan reacted as if he had been the conductor of the project and the Beyoğlu local municipality and the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality were not considered sides in the project by society.

Erdoğan was seen as the first responsible actor, the AKP second, the government third and the state fourth, the report said.

If democratic methods had been implemented by the municipality from the beginning, the problems would not have even surfaced, it added.

Bal, speaking to daily Radikal, said the question of where the mistake was made should be asked by every side, so that similar mistakes could be avoided.


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Wewomen kennedy

8/13/2013 8:15:51 PM

Selling a public park to private shopping mall developers is illegal in most countries not ruled by an all controlling gang. And that Erdogan's son-in-law stood to reaps millions for building the mall certainly gave Erdogan a direct financial stake in the mall -- helping arrange the sale of the park, and gaining in the construction windfall. And we know -- no one dare look directly or challenge Sultan Erdogan.

Tekion Particle

8/13/2013 7:58:34 PM

This must be choreographed scheme to redirect the blame away from the dear dictator so he is likable again. Ataturk used to refer to his nation as "YUCE MILLET" regardless of the problems or the adverse situations he was facing. RTE refers to his nation in disagreement with him as "Chapuller". That is the difference between a great leader with vision and a narrow minded simit seller who was totally dominated and brain washed by religion and blinded by his hunger for power.

An Observer

8/13/2013 4:32:34 PM

So... sack the PM.

British Chapuller

8/13/2013 3:37:15 PM

@Brit in Turkey....no no, they were not too difficult to follow....they were just full of lies and false images made up by the external media groups to provoke more rioting, or so RTE would have us believe :D

american american

8/13/2013 2:46:08 PM

this just in! assad misinformed of syrian uprising. it's all good now.

Brit in Turkey

8/13/2013 1:23:41 PM

I guess that the videos of the time were too difficult to follow.

strömungs maschine

8/13/2013 1:15:40 PM

I hope police will shoot inner circle next time, if they attempt vandalism & stir up a rebellion again..

British Chapuller

8/13/2013 12:28:51 PM

"Erdoğan was seen as the first responsible actor" cause he was....he was the one appearing on TV making ridiculous statements and accusations, he was the one calling rallies opposing the protests. "If democratic methods had been implemented by the municipality from the beginning, the problems would not have even surfaced" true, but this would never happen with RTE in charge, he did not wish for diplomacy, only dictatorship.

British Chapuller

8/13/2013 12:23:25 PM

"lack of dialogue caused the protests to transform" the PM / AKP were not interested in dialogue at the start, the protesters were, that caused the transformation, cause the "chapullers" were behaving better than them!! "Failing to place the prime minister in the crisis properly" the PM did not want to be placed anywhere near it (has he even visited Gezi yet?) Instead, he claimed that everything would be dealt with before his return.

Red Tail

8/13/2013 11:35:32 AM

We have heard from high level AKP people that Germany was behind the Gezi because the new 3rd airport would compete and win over Frankfurts. We have also heard that the Jews were behind Gezi. There were also statements about "interest lobbyists" and that BBC reporters are "British agents" etc etc etc. So I guess they are right when they are misinformed. But I guess that was not what they were refering to in this report?
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