Turkish PM accuses main opposition of being behind the Gezi protests
ISTANBUL – Anadolu Agency
The Turkish PM is flanked with supporters of his neighborhood's football club, Kasımpaşaspor, on Sept. 12. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has increased his rhetoric against the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), accusing it explicitly of being behind the Gezi protests, which erupted in Istanbul late May and spread across Turkey.
“Those behind the Gezi protests are the CHP and the CHP deputies. This is clear and obvious. Those who understand that they can’t win at the ballot box, set their hopes on streets and avenues,” Erdoğan said Sept. 12.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the TÜMEXPO commercial fair in Istanbul on the 33rd anniversary of the 1980 coup d’état, Erdoğan also denounced CHP for still being supportive of the military coup.
“I want to express one of the areas where we have failed. We have been unsuccessful in changing the mentality of the main opposition. You will see that they still carry on them the dust of the Sept. 12 [coup],” Erdoğan said, slamming their decision to send a delegation to visit the post-takeover rule in Egypt.
Erdoğan said that the Gezi Park protests were similar to the events that lead to Turkey’s first military coup in May 27 1960.
“I have recently researched about what happened in those days. I have looked to the headlines of the newspapers and columns. They are the same,” Erdoğan said, adding that the Justice and Development (AKP) government would not allow a coup to take place again.
“We won’t allow democracy to be interrupted. Our youth will defend democracy and won’t allow a new Sept. 12 [coup],” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan repeatedly slammed the Gezi Park protest, arguing that it was a movement aiming for the toppling of the government.