Ex-Turkish Culture Minister hits out at 'loss of history for profits'
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
‘Istanbul is losing its historic structure under the pressure of unjust profits,’ says former Tourism and Culture Minister Günay, who lost his post on Jan 25. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZFormer Culture Minister and the Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) İzmir deputy Ertuğrul Günay has harshly criticized the demolition of Taksim’s Gezi Park, as well as the harsh police intervention against the protesters.
“Due to such incidents, I could not continue my duties. Istanbul is losing its historic structure under the pressure of unjust profits,” Günay said, adding that the project set to be implemented in Taksim Square was not the right thing to do.
“First they said they would build artillery barracks [in the place of Gezi Park]. I repeatedly said building such a structure would not be correct in terms of aesthetics. What’s more, a shopping mall will be built there instead of barracks,” Günay told the Hürriyet Daily News.
“Those saying that they are on the conservative side ignore the people’s need for green areas,” he said, adding that green spaces were a need for everyone regardless of their economic condition.
‘They don't understand God or the conqueror’
“Those attempting to cut 80-year-old trees to build a shopping mall understand neither Mehmed the Conqueror, nor the commandments of God,” he said, referring to the coincidence of the demolition process with the anniversary of Istanbul’s conquest.
When asked why he was still in office as an AKP deputy despite all his disagreements with the party, Günay separated the party from "profit seekers."
"I don’t have a disagreement with the party’s grass roots. These problems are caused by profit-seekers. I joined the party as it defends democracy,” Günay said.
The former minister also posted some similar tweets that reviewed his six years within the AKP, saying that he always listened to his conscience and never remained silent in the face of injustices.