I’m proud of Gezi protests’ beginning, President Gül says
The President Gül echoed his previous remarks, stressing that the government and himself have received the message about this dimension of the protests, while condemning the “radical groups conducting illegal actions exploiting the protests.” AA photoTurkish President Abdullah Gül has noted his pride at the beginning of the Gezi protests, along with similar demonstrations, during a meeting in New York.
The start of the Gezi protests stemmed from environmental consciousness and urban concerns, he said at a study breakfast organized by Merrill Lynch today, noting that similar concerns were evident in Washington, London and New York.
“These kinds of problems are mainly democratic and developed countries’ problems. Turkey’s problems have come to a point resembling these. I would like this to be acknowledged,” he added.
He claimed Turkey’s problems are “not related with murders, major unemployment issues, or great anti-democratic practices, dictatorship or authoritarianism.”
“Those who know Turkey used to talk about the kinds of problems Turkey used to hit the world agenda with 10 or 15 years ago” he said. “But what are Turkey’s problems today?”
The president echoed his previous remarks, stressing that the government and himself have received the message about this dimension of the protests, while condemning the “radical groups conducting illegal actions exploiting the protests.”
Gül also said the much-criticized intervention of the Turkish police was needed, while asking his audience about what happen in New York if similar incidents occurred.
“I want to remind this: if you tell us to be tolerant there [during protests in Turkey], what would New York do if hundreds of people gathered on 5th Avenue and set tires on fire in the middle of the street, sometimes in the daytime and sometimes at 10 p.m. at night? Istanbul’s police are doing what they would do,” he said.