Police have 'absolute orders' not to permit Gezi protests: Erdoğan
'You will not be able to come to those places like you did last year,' Erdoğan tells Gezi protesters. DHA photoThe police have been ordered to permit absolutely no demonstrations in Taksim or Gezi Park on May 31, the first anniversary of the Gezi Park uprising, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said only hours before the planned rally.
He called on citizens not to participate in the protests there at 7 p.m., naming it an insincere attempt.
Taksim Solidarity, one of the main group’s behind last year’s protests, has called on people to meet in Taksim on May 31 to commemorate the victims.
“You will not be able to come to those places like you did last year,” Erdoğan said during the opening ceremony of a local municipal building in Istanbul.
“Because the police have taken absolute orders, they will do everything,” he said.
“This is not a green protest,” he said, claiming that the Gülen movement under the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen was also involved in actions to prevent the government from turning Taksim into a monumental square.
Last year’s Gezi events were triggered after a violent police attack on a group that protested a shopping mall plan there.
Erdoğan also accused the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) for hoping to take advantage of the events.
“They are trying to cover the gap [in politics] via violence and vandalism,” he said.
The prime minister slammed the CHP lawmakers who have lent support to protests.
“How can a lawmaker lay in front of TOMA?” Erdoğan asked in reference to the water cannon trucks, also known as TOMAs.
“How can a lawmaker be together terrorists who smash things up? How can they be together with those who wound policemen, fire at them and throw Molotov cocktails?” he continued.
He also accused both CHP and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) for planning a plot against the government in cooperation with the Gülen movement under the U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen.
The prime minister had slammed the Gezi Park protesters one day ago also, while criticizing Twitter and Facebook.
"Violence is where there is no thought and opinion. The Gezi people are those who have no thought. They never planted a tree. You won't become such youth. You'll speak with your pen," Erdoğan said during an award ceremony for an essay contest between schools in Istanbul.