Gezi Park demonstrations are a ‘delayed revolt,’ says main opposition leader
Republican People's Party (CHP) leader said his party had no influence whatsoever over the youth protesting in the streets. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZTurkey’s main opposition leader has slammed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s stance toward the young people organizing the Gezi Park protests, saying the youth were fed up with the pressure on freedoms.
“Be sure that if those young people are revolting, this is a delayed revolt. If it’s a protest, well this is a delayed protest. The people are fed up. They can’t breathe anymore,” Republican People Party (CHP) head Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said during an interview with a private broadcaster aired June 7.
The CHP leader also denied the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) claims that the main opposition had provoked the protests. “If they go home after I tell them to do so, let me say it from here: Everybody should go home. But when we told them to go to the demonstrations, they did not do it. So when we tell them to stop, don’t expect them to do so,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.
He also dismissed conspiracy claims that a coup attempt was being prepared amid the protests. “What coup attempt, for heaven’s sake! These youth have not been raised in the coup generations, and they don’t have such an intention.”
Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the AKP’s insistence that they could do as they pleased because they obtained half of the population’s vote during the last elections. “Democracy does not mean going to vote every four years. This is a small part of democracy. But there is also the separation of powers, the freedom of the press and the extension of individual rights and freedoms,” he said.
He added that his party only wanted the protesters and everyone to be safe, without being confronted by the police.
The brutal police attack against Gezi Park demonstrations last week sparked widespread fury and led to protests across the country.