Turkey's ruling party hosts Gezi workshop

Turkey's ruling party hosts Gezi workshop

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
Turkeys ruling party hosts Gezi workshop

Süleyman Soylu. DHA Photo

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) hosted a workshop yesterday with a focus on the ongoing Gezi protests in Istanbul, as part of the party’s attempts to cope with the anti-government movement.

The workshop aimed at looking into the past 20 days of the movement, as well as offering a debate on the possible future strategies to follow. Part of the analysis also included the need to work further on the younger population. 

Deputy chair of AKP, Süleyman Soylu, described the events as the “most interesting 20 days of Turkey’s democracy,” adding that the protests soon took a different turn with foreign interventions and radical groups’ involvement, according to Anadolu Agency. 

“They say the youth is apolitical, we want to understand if that is the case. We feel the need to understand the motivations, emotions, and concepts of that youth,” Soylu said. 

A guest list including deputies, academics and experts attended the workshop, which underlined the need to have further attempts by the ruling party that would target the younger population. 

Several of the party’s Central Decision and Executive Council members, including Nikhet Hotar and Prof. Yasin Aktay, were among those who attended the workshop, as well as academics from a variety of universities. 

The editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, Rober Koptaş, however, declined the invitation to attend the workshop, citing the prime minister’s attitude as the cause.

Koptaş took to Twitter to explain his reasons for declining the invitation, saying the decision came after the prime minister’s group meeting speech. 

“A certain amount of respect is needed to form a platform for dialogue, and the prime minister’s attitude has crushed that platform,” Koptaş said. 

A final report of the workshop will be submitted to the prime minister, according to daily Akşam.
The Gezi protests, sparked by the planned demolition of Taksim’s green spot, has slowed down following severe police interventions, but resistance still continues in various shapes and forms. 
Forums, marches, commemoration ceremonies are among the ways in which the movement still maintains its hold over the country’s agenda, as well as through individual acts that have spread nationwide.