Deputy PM says it's better to 'convince' protesters than use tear gas
'I think that it beneficial to spend efforts to convince those who say 'We don't want a mall here,' rather than using tear gas on them,' said Arınç. DHA photo
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç criticized the massive amount of tear gas used against demonstrators protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park on June 1.
"I think it's beneficial to exert efforts to convince those who say 'We don't want a mall here,' rather than using tear gas on them," Hürriyet newspaper quoted Arınç as saying today.
He said he had been very upset about the images of violence he had seen. "There are sensitive people on environmental issues who have been harmed during these demonstrations. I want to express my get well soon wishes to them and say that I have been very saddened by this," Arınç said, claiming that "provocateurs" in the protests had escalated the situation.
The deputy prime minister also praised the administrative court order suspending the Artillery Barracks project set to replace Gezi Park. He said he welcomed the ruling and the administration was bound to apply it, implying that imminent demolition of the park was out of the question.
Arınç also refuted reports claiming that his son was among the owners of the shopping center to be built inside the new barracks building.
Meanwhile, İbrahim Kalın, the adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on his Twitter account today that Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbaş and representatives from the Taksim Gazi Park Platform and the Chamber of Architects would meet today to discuss a joint-solution.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said Turkey did not want to experience the Germany of the 1940s in 2013, while responding to journalists in Ankara, before traveling to Istanbul for a scheduled public meeting in the Kadıköy district today.
The CHP's Kadıköy meeting will start at 4 p.m. today, and is expected to attract a large crowd upon the party's call last week.