Ruling AKP dismisses rumors of early election after executive meeting
The nearly four-hour meeting was attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the main government officials. AA photoRumors on an early election are completely unfounded, ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Hüseyin Çelik told reporters today following a meeting of the party’s Central Decision and Executive Council (MKYK) in Istanbul amid the ongoing Gezi Park protests. Çelik confirmed that the parliamentary elections will be held in 2015 as scheduled.
“There is no need for an early election. The Parliament is working like a clock. In the past, [governments] could not even gather the Cabinet. There is political stability. Fortunately, there is no reason to require an early election,” Çelik said following a nearly four-hour meeting attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the main government officials.
Çelik also reiterated that the government was ready and open to listen to citizens’ “reasonable” demands, but added that they would not agree to remove some officials from their duty.
“Our prime minister will not [dismiss] anyone whom he believes is not responsible [for crimes against the people]. If their demands are like the janissaries wanting some heads, this will not have any success,” he said.
The Taksim Solidarity Platform has demanded that the interior minister, Istanbul’s governor and police who have brutalized protesters should be investigated and stripped of their duty.
Çelik argued that the events have come at a time when the government has made important steps with the ongoing peace process to solve the three-decade-old Kurdish issue and had achieved important economical successes, such as the elimination of International Monetary Fund (IMF) debt.
“Just like before the Sept. 12  coup, some sensitivities are being stirred up and in some provinces some provocations that could turn into confessional conflicts are being made,” he said, accusing the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) of being involved in the protests. He also argued that there were attempts to overshadow the good developments happening in the country.
'PM did not meant that everyone was a marauder'
The AKP’s spokesman also argued that Erdoğan did not meant to stigmatize all the protesters when he controversially said “marauders.” The British prime minister had used the same word following the London riots of 2011, he added. “The prime minister talked about three or five marauders. He knows that more than three or five people have participated in the incidents,” Çelik said. The word “marauders” (çapulcu in Turkish) has quickly become the slogan of the protesters. The English form “chapulling” has even been defined on Wikipedia as "fighting for one’s rights.”
Çelik also repeated that the Artillery Barracks would not be like a typical shopping center. “But [the demonstrations] are not merely environmentally sensitive anymore,” he said. “The process is under the government’s control. The Istanbul Governor’s Office will share with you what should happen in Taksim. There is no need for concern.”
AKP to hold mass rallies
Meanwhile, the committee has decided to hold two “unity and solidarity” rallies on June 15 and 16 in Ankara and Istanbul, respectively. The party executives aim to call for unity and also shown their strength during the meeting.
The Turkey-wide protests were ignited after Istanbul Municipality’s attempt to demolish the park drew protesters who were then brutally attacked by the police, leading tens of thousands to pour onto the streets in fury.