Former minister says he won’t resign from ruling AKP

Former minister says he won’t resign from ruling AKP

Former minister says he won’t resign from ruling AKP

Günay criticizes the government’s behavior in response to the events. Daily News Photo, Selahattin Sönmez

Former Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay delivered several messages to parties of a controversy over the Gezi Park unrest, including the ruling party of which he is still a member, and made clear that he had no intention of resigning from his party despite clear divergences of opinion between him and the prime minister.

Since the Gezi Park related anti-government protests were sparked in late May, Günay’s usually ambiguously-addressed tweets appeared to be criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) for its approach toward the incidents.

Günay, speaking at a press conference at the Parliament on June 19, criticized the government’s behavior in response to the recent wave of events and stated that he wouldn’t resign. Günay also called on the protesters to return home.

“It was an easy process but it was not administered right. Administering needs ease, courtesy, convenience, leniency and sympathy. An administration with antagonism, violence and hatred won’t work. A rule may be executed by a political party but a government is the government of the entire Republic of Turkey. During the entire process, I have been trying to explain that the issue could have been resolved through justice, ease and mercy, before it made headlines in the international media,” he said.

Describing the police intervention during the protests as “excessive,” he said, “Due to the harsh orders they were given; and sometimes in an unfair and unnecessary way and sometimes in a rightful way, but via using excessive force instead of catching these copperheads to exhibit, -- security forces caused the incidents to spread. They have led to the creation of a dream and willingness for a change in the government during this easy process which was not administered right.”

Günay also called for self-criticism and said, “When the scale of the incidents changed, international conspiracies against the government began to be spoken about. But if this starting point and how we rule has been considered, it will become evident that we have failed to administer this process. We will be faced with the need of making a self-criticism.”

When reminded of the apparent difference of view between himself and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and asked whether he would continue working in the AKP, he said, “I came to the AK Party [AKP] at a very tough time. No matter with what intentions, I’m not in favor of remaining silent in another dread phase either. I know that the majority of the AKP members share my feelings. I’m continuing, but maybe I’m letting you down.”