Protests should continue in a festive mood: BDP's Gezi Park resister Önder
Sırrı Süreyya Önder, the Peace and Democracy Party's (BDP) most active deputy in the Gezi Park protests, met with President Abdullah Gül on June 4. He also met with Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç earlier in the day. AA photoThe protests across Turkey that were brutally repressed by the police over the past week should continue in a festive mood, according to the deputy who became an iconic figure after he stopped the demolition of the trees in Taksim Gezi Park
"I explained about the mistakes that were made and what problems arose. I explained the excess, the recklessness and the senselessness of the state violence," Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder told reporters on June 4, after an unscheduled meeting in Ankara with President Abdullah Gül.
He added that the government, although slowly and too late, was starting to realize the seriousness of the situation. "My impression today is that the democratic processes are entering into force, that the awareness among the people has also begun to form in the state and the government," Önder added.
People integrated to decisions
Önder also said that Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç, who met with Gül earlier in the day and is set to talk with the organizers of the Gezi Park protests June 5, vowed to initiate an integration of the city into the decision-making process. The Hürriyet Daily News has learned that a formula will be found to leave to the local authorities the final decision on the park's demolition in favor of an Artillery Barracks project. The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality is set to cooperate with various civil society organisations on the matter.
After today's meetings, it has also been made clear that investigations will be launched into the police officers who used excessive force against protesters. The police will also not intervene unless there is violence or damage to public property by the protesters.
Official complaint against the Istanbul Governor
Önder also added that violence against protesters in a country whose population is around 70 percent made up of young people could only lead more people to challenge injustice.
Calling on the police to restrain from intervening in protests, Önder also said that an investigation should be opened into Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu. "I have spoken with him and I can say that even an ordinary subordinate would have acted with more common sense," Önder said, emphasizing that the resistance should be managed democratically and peacefully.