This is not the way to end Gezi Park protests, warns BDP's Önder

This is not the way to end Gezi Park protests, warns BDP's Önder

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
This is not the way to end Gezi Park protests, warns BDPs Önder

BDP deputy Önder, pictured, says protesters are from all parts of society. DHA photo

Sırrı Süreyya Önder, a critical figure in the Gezi Park protests who has been present from the beginning of the demonstrations, has slammed June 11's ferocious police assault on Taksim, notably criticizing Istanbul Gov. Hüseyin Avni Mutlu for insulting him.

“This is not the way to end even a fight in the neighborhood. These are the mayors of wartime. No peace can come out of these,” Önder, who is also a deputy of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), said June 11.

In the meantime, Selahattin Demirtaş, the co-chair of the BDP, urged the government to take a more positive stance toward the protests and to try to understand the youth.

Önder, who used his own body to prevent earth movers from destroying trees in the early protests in late May, also said the children of at least four deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had also joined the protests.

Önder criticized the government’s approach in handling the protests. “This is not the language of negotiation. When there is no consciousness of democracy in it, this issue cannot be settled with romantic tweets,” he said, referring to Mutlu’s recent tweets on the beauty of Gezi Park and how he wishes he was there, too.

According to Önder, the protests were seen as positive in the first three days, only to be denigrated later on. Önder noted that in the early days of the protests, when he spoken to Mutlu, he had insulted him.

“They are saying ‘they were right in the first three days.’ I called the governor in those three days, he insulted me. The governor asked ‘do you have any suggestions for a group of 3-5 rampants.’ I objected to that language, and he replied saying ‘will you be happy if I say a hundred thousand people.’ Do not be fooled by his romantic tweets. This is that kind of a governor. These are the governors of wartime,” Önder said.

While affirming that protests should not be attributed to one group, but people from all sorts of backgrounds and opinions were supporting them, he declared that children of some AKP deputies were also present during the protests. “I am announcing it to you. Do not ask for names, I cannot give any, but in the protests, children of at least four AKP deputies were with us.”

Önder also suggested that the controversial name of the third bridge, Yavuz Sultan Selim, is a pretext to divert attention from the spoiling of nature in the area.

Demirtaş was also hard on the government in his party’s parliamentary group meeting on June 11, emphasizing that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was taking the protests personally.

“They are acting as if he is the temple of democracy, every slogan chanted at him is an insult to democracy,” Demirtaş said.