No one is forced to like us: Turkish PM
ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), July 31. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has dismissed criticisms of a “dictatorial rule,” adding that not everyone is forced to like the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) but the ballot box is the "only tool to protect the majority."
“Of course media, universities and streets are musts for democracy. But, can you call democracy a system only guided by the media and the capital? Where then would you put the silent masses who can only make their voices heard through ballot boxes?” Erdoğan said, speaking at the general assembly of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) July 31.
“In Turkey, the only place where it is possible to intervene in democracy is the ballot box. Any other intervention is illegitimate. Rights can’t be expressed by occupying streets in the mountains or in the cities.This can only hurt democracy,” he said reffering to the Gezi Park protests.
Erdoğan also vowed to represent the whole population and not just those who voted AKP. “No one has to like us. I’m saying this with sincerity. There is no such obligation. We are the government of the 76 million [of Turkish people], without distinction between those who like us and who do not,” he said.
The prime minister also slammed the commissions collected from consumers as he did previously when he criticized the interest rates. “The interest rate lobby is sharp-witted. They are not content with interest, but also crushed the poor consumers with the commissions,” he said.
Erdoğan had accused an “interest rate lobby” of being behind the nationwide protests that have hit Turkey since the end of May.