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POLITICS >Taksim demos target Kurdish process, Turkish PM says

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Turkish PM Erdoğan accused the Gezi protesters of being 'puppets' for those who are 'disturbed' by the achieved state of peace in the country. REUTERS Photo

Turkish PM Erdoğan accused the Gezi protesters of being 'puppets' for those who are 'disturbed' by the achieved state of peace in the country. REUTERS Photo

Ongoing Taksim demonstrations target the peace process in Turkey and are attempts at sabotaging a possible resolution of the Kurdish issue, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said June 21 during a party rally in the Central Anatolian city of Kayseri.

“We have already said that there could be sabotage attempts at the peace process. These recent events all aim at sabotaging the peace process. We will not yield,” the prime minister said as he addressed his supporters.

Erdoğan accused the protesters of being “puppets” for those who are “disturbed” by the achieved state of peace in the country.

“For months no word of a terrorist attacks came from Turkey. No clashes, no martyrs. People now return to their deserted villages, they are having picnics on the Cudi mountain sides. [The protesters] are disturbed by the strong fraternity,” he said.

The prime minister repeated his commitment to the peace process, announcing that the final meeting with the government-formed “Wise Persons Commissions,” consisting of public figures who have been traveling the country to observe the people’s reaction to the peace process, would be held on Wednesday.

The prime minister also called on Alevi citizens to “beware of traps,” accusing the main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of leading provocations aimed at the Alevis.

“I call on my Alevi brothers, be careful towards such traps. Beware of attempts that may disturb stability, peace and trust. When I apologized for Dersim - which had never happened in our times - the CHP leader stood against me,” Erdoğan said, in reference to his previous remarks on the Dersim killings of 1937-38.

According to the prime minister, the people are against violent protesters and “those who wish to damage Turkey’s peace,” as well as the “puppets and pawns.” He claimed that over 1.5 million people were present to respond to his questions at last weekend’s Kazlıçeşme rally in Istanbul.

“Today, Anatolia and Thrace is joining together, rebelling against vandalism and barbarism,” Erdoğan said. “Your rebellion is against those who use violence.”

“Those who bury their heads in the sand will not hear you, nor will the international media. Some of the Turkish media will not hear you, either. Those against the will of the people will not hear you,” he said. “But I expect you to respond in such a way that the answer should be heard from Baghdad, Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem.”

Erdoğan also said he had ordered Interior Minister Muammer Güler to clear Taksim Square and the Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) of protesters within 24 hours, when the last harsh police crackdown took place.

“We had waited for 17 days. Gezi Park does not belong to an occupant group, but to all the public. You cannot occupy parks. This is against law,” he added. “Taksim is not a rallying area.”

Erdoğan also took aim at the ongoing “standing man” protests that have been sweeping the nation for over a week. “They say ‘standing man,’ but we say ‘don’t stop, go on.’ What they do best in their lives is stand, and to only stand,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

June/21/2013

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