Police intervention against protesters ‘perfectly natural’: Interior Minister
ANKARA - Anadolu Agency
Interior Minister Muammer Güler was the predecessor of the much criticized current Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu. DHA photoInterior Minister Muammer Güler has told reporters that police interventions against protesters unlawfully demonstrating in parks and public places are “natural,” on a night when security forces again fired large amounts of tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim area.
“They can use Gezi Park as they wish, without gathering or demonstrating there. But we can’t let them install tents. If there is an unlawful demonstration or march, of course we will intervene with TOMAs [water cannon trucks], police and other instruments,” Güler told reporters, after being asked whether citizens would only be allowed to go to Gezi Park to “enjoy the flowers.”
“There are just now forced attempts to organize another unlawful protest in Istanbul. Our police do not allow this. This is perfectly natural,” he added, referring to the Gezi protesters who had gathered to reenter “their park,” which has been sealed off by security forces for two weeks.
Güler was also the predecessor of the much criticized current Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu.
The police’s brutal crackdown on what started as a local environmental protest triggered by the attempt to cut down trees in Istanbul’s Gezi Park, a small oasis at the heart of the city's entertainment area, had stirred a huge outcry, sparking nationwide anti-government protests over the course of June.