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POLITICS > Democracy is not just about elections, says Turkish President

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"Democracy is not just about elections," Turkish President Abdullah Gül said. AA photo

"Democracy is not just about elections," Turkish President Abdullah Gül said. AA photo

Democracy is not just about elections, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said today in response to the ongoing Gezi Park protests, adding that the message was received by authorities.

“If there are objections, there is nothing more natural than voicing them,” Gül said. “Everyone should show restraint. All the messages with good intentions were received, and what is necessary will be done.

“Democracy is not just about elections,” he said.

Gül added that Turkey was an “open society” where “everyone should feel free in their own country.” He also stated that the objections should be voiced through peaceful means.

Gül however warned the public of the danger of “illegal organizations” taking over the protests, saying, “Illegal organizations may intervene from now on. Turkey’s democracy has been tested; it is now time to remain calm.”

President Abdullah Gül intervened on June 1 to stop the police crackdown in Taksim, urging “sensitivity and maturity” to calm the five-day-long tensions down.

Gül called the Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. He urged moderation, saying that the situation was “very sensitive.”

Hours later the police withdrew from Taksim Square, giving way to a large crowd which wanted to walk into the Gezi Park. The clashes eased after the move, before heating up once again last night.

June/03/2013

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american american

6/3/2013 7:25:03 PM

and lara, just like that goon in tophane with the knife, and the akp supporters with sticks helping the police beat people, my video is online for the world to see!

american american

6/3/2013 7:22:06 PM

lara, i recorded them. they were shouting at people who were banging pots and pans in protest and then shouted about the jews. get out on the street if you are in turkey and see what is really going on.

american american

6/3/2013 7:20:10 PM

i guess than it is shame on the police and the ruling party mistique. shame on you for not knowing what is going on

mara mcglothin

6/3/2013 6:49:10 PM

DR PROF Read MR GUL's personal bio and then tell us again how his views differ from others in the AKP. We always say that "you can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear." This is true for Gul. He walks a better walk and talks a better talk, BUT the message is the same. He is still suing people for insult, etc.

mara mcglothin

6/3/2013 6:19:45 PM

MISTIQUE Many politicians have already made Turkey a laughingstock, and RTE's recent comments about drinking at home etc only further illustrate the workings of the AKP. This is democracy. It might not be pretty or neat and tidy, but it is what it is. Time to hear the will of the people. If we should wait until 2014, it might be too late.

mistique holland

6/3/2013 6:01:45 PM

Shame on those who believe this will bring more FREEDOM to Turkey. Shame on those who believe the way of VIOLENCE, TERROR, VANDALISM, ROBBING, is the way to more FREEDOM. Shame on those for not starting a dialogue but letting themselves USE by those who want turmoil in Turkey, like Assad, the PKK, Irak, etc. You make Turkey the laughing stock of the world. Shame on you for ruining this beautiful country.. Misusing 10 trees to start your war on Erdogan. 2014 is ELECTION , choose THAN.

Basil Keilani

6/3/2013 5:59:36 PM

What Gul is saying is that he understand that though AKP won the most seats, a slight majority voted for the other parties. He understands that a crude democratic way of doing things by simply how many seats you have is only going to inflame things. I could have told him that. Erdogan was elected, but he should consider the many who didn't elect him, too. Slightly less than 50% voted for him.

Indy Eleven

6/3/2013 5:43:21 PM

Is it customary for someone who is the Prime Minister to refer to the citizenry as his children? I am not well versed in Turkey's social etiquette. From the outside looking-in, statements like that can be seen to be condescending unless more context is available to understand.

mara mcglothin

6/3/2013 4:56:19 PM

AMERICAN I do believe you are preaching to the choir. Surely "pious" youth could not commit the type of offenses you are describing???

K M

6/3/2013 4:47:07 PM

Restrain the thuggish P!rime Minister "I will tear down the Ataturk Cultural Center! I will build a mosque in the middle of Taksim!" The AKP has no restraint or decency.
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