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POLITICS > Ankara seeks to contain Occupy Taksim wildfire

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'Our citizens showed their legitimate, logical and righteous reaction at Gezi Park,' Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

'Our citizens showed their legitimate, logical and righteous reaction at Gezi Park,' Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said. DAILY NEWS photo / Selahattin SÖNMEZ

Although Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was abroad for a tour of north African countries, Turkey’s head of state and other political leaders were in contact with each other on a whirlwind day of intense efforts in the capital city of Ankara, in a bid to sooth the unrest in dozens of cities across the country.

A hectic June 4 saw all parties issuing reconciliatory messages in unison, beginning with President Abdullah Gül’s meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç in the morning. Gül had initiated the meeting with Arınç, as the latter is substituting for Prime Minister Erdoğan during his absence from the country. 

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Arınç described it as “positive.” As an apparent result of all these efforts, members of the Taksim Platform are expected today [June 5] to meet Arınç as a group.

Respect for lifestyles

By noon, speaking at a press conference, Arınç was offering an apology to those citizens who were victims of the excessive use of force during the initial police raids at Gezi Park. He spoke in a fairly conciliatory tone, emphasizing the government’s “respect for different lifestyles,” which is a frequently voiced reason allegedly behind the country-wide protests. 

“Of course, not everyone has to vote for us, but we are sensitive towards the demands and expectations of those that do not vote for us. The responsibility of each of our citizens is on us, the most basic human rights, freedoms, and lifestyles of our citizens are our responsibility. We are open to all reactions, all demands within democratic culture and the legal framework,” Arınç said. He thanked the opposition parties for their stance on the issue, saying “We appreciate the approach of the MHP [the Nationalist Movement Party] since the beginning of the events, and we thank them.”

He repeated the same for the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), but took a more reserved approach against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP). 

Arınç apologized to those injured in the initial phase of the protests. “In that first event, the excessive demonstration of violence against those acting with environmental sensitivity was wrong and unfair. I apologize to those citizens. I can easily say that, but I do not think we owe an apology to those who destroyed the streets,” he said. 

June/04/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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mara mcglothin

6/6/2013 4:20:58 PM

yeah CEZER You have to wonder if RTE's actions are all a result of "pillow talk" after the recent reading material given to his wife in America. Maybe she is the real culprit???:)

Zeljko Brkic

6/6/2013 1:46:58 AM

I am regular tourist in Turkey every year twice, enjoyed your country very much and spent over 5 thousand US$ every time, but this is bad bad and i will skip Turkey this year sorry. Many people compare Turkish government with some EU governments and blame on Erdogan for this, but just be fair one moment, Turkish people are not the same as in France or Germany. Today all arab world is in ruins but Turkey is developing into great country, you need to appreciate your people and Government too.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

6/6/2013 12:48:23 AM

MARA, I heard Tunisia was looking for a dictator, if you catch my drift... My guess before weekend.

mara mcglothin

6/5/2013 8:55:33 PM

SPARKS I do wonder when he will be coming home. does anyone know? A leader of integrity would address his country from the steps of his plane as it has landed.

Ali Kanat

6/5/2013 5:56:23 PM

An apology about a small part of the problem from the deputy? Shameful! Can we look forward to the removal of convictions against Fazil Say and Sevan Nişanyan for speaking freely? Nope - didn't think so

Sparks

6/5/2013 12:10:18 PM

The rise and decline of the Erdogan Empire. The PM left his own troublesome country and "fled" to Northern Africa. A real leader would have stayed home and would have explained his actions. But none of this all, the only man who did the snotty work for him was mr. Gül. I really wish him to see on telly after landing on Atatüruk Airport or Esenboga Airport "welcomed" by his country fellowmen. I bet he will put his plane down in the middle of the night.

A European

6/5/2013 11:43:33 AM

The fact that Erdogan doesn't apologise, but instead sends his number two to do it for him, is pathetic and childish. His pride is obviously more important to him than the welfare of Turkey. Get rid of him and end his fantasy of becoming the sultan of a neo ottoman empire (whic'll NEVER happen anyway).

Michael Johnson

6/5/2013 11:33:45 AM

Extremely well spoken Indy Eleven!

alkan alkan

6/5/2013 11:11:14 AM

Recep hark ! For whom the bells toll ? They toll for Thee !!!

Rimon Tree

6/5/2013 10:02:44 AM

If I was a demonstrator I would give Erdogan a nice reception at the airport whehn he comes back!
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