Ruling AKP spokesperson condemns CNN and BBC reporting of Gezi Park protests
AKP Spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik said that it was possible to organize a referandum in the Beyoğlu district that comprises the Taksim area, or even in Istanbul for determining Gezi Park’s faith. DHA photoRuling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik has condemned the coverage of American outlet CNN and British broadcaster BBC about the protests that have entered their third week in Turkey.
“CNN International and BBC have shown [the protests] as if there were hundreds of funerals. [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad is slaughtering his people, but there is no coverage on Syria,” Çelik, who is also AKP’s deputy head responsible for media issues, told private broadcaster NTV late on June 11.
Çelik also called on protesters to stop their demonstrations before things become “unpleasant.” “Leave [Taksim Square] and end it. Don’t play into the hands of the illegal organizations,” he said, adding that the demands of the Taksim Solidarity Platform that met Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç last week were extreme.
“Anyone can speak with us but this government won’t surrender to these excessive demands. It will also not accept those who choose violence as counterparts,” he said.
Çelik also mentioned that a referendum can be organized in the Beyoğlu district that comprises the Taksim area, or even in Istanbul for determining Gezi Park’s faith.
Çelik said that what was happening in Taksim was an attempt to prevent Turkey from becoming stronger after a month of May full of achievements, from the start of the withdrawal of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants to the laying of the foundations of Istanbul’s third bridge. “Turkey is at the point of takeoff, so some people are trying to trip it up. We have seen these films and these scenarios a lot.”
He also said the continuation of the protests would only result with the consolidation of the AKP’s voter base.
Çelik also did not give any details on who would represent the protesters in a meeting with the prime minister on June 12. Taksim Platform members have said they have not been contacted by officials and did not know who would take part in the delegation representing the demonstrators.