Turkish Parliament to legislate against street violence: Erdoğan

Turkish Parliament to legislate against street violence: Erdoğan

RİZE - Anadolu Agency
Turkish Parliament to legislate against street violence: Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a mass opening ceremony in the Black Sea province of Rize, the homeland of his family, on Oct. 11. AA Photo

Turkey’s Parliament will make legal arrangements next week to bring an end to "vandalism and violence in the streets" that has left 37 dead, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Oct. 11.

“I hope that, after Tuesday [Oct. 14], the Turkish Parliament will make new legal arrangements. The government will take administrative measures and other institutions will do their part to clear the streets rapidly of these vandals,” Erdoğan said in the Black Sea province of Rize in an unusual announcement, as the president does not generally intervene in the legislative process.

The president said he expected the support of all political parties and nongovernmental organizations on the issue, saying, “We will see who supports the government in Parliament and who does not.”

Erdoğan asked that citizens put all their disputes and differences aside and that “everyone assume responsibility for the survival of the country and give the necessary support to those concerned.”
He also said nobody could ask him to stay silent and neutral as demonstrators “burned schools, hospitals and nursing homes.”

Protesters demanding that Turkey permit a corridor into Kobane, a Syrian town on the Turkish border, to help relieve Kurdish defenders fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), took to the streets this week in different parts of the country.

Some 37 people were killed in violence related to the protests, with the majority dying after police, the military, far-right fundamentalists or far-right nationalists strafed crowds of protesters in incidents around the country.

The protesters claim the Turkish government has failed to act against the advance of ISIL militants into Kobane, which is populated by Syrian Kurds.

“The protests around Turkey this week seek to wreck the solution process,” Erdoğan also said, adding that “the solution process seeks to put an end to terrorism – this is why it was targeted.”

Some 57 people were detained on the night of Oct. 11 in the provinces of Diyarbakir, Mardin and Siirt – all located in the southeast of Turkey, where the most intense protests have taken place.

“They are attacking the peace, stability and fraternity in Turkey under the pretext of Kobane. What does Kobane have to do with Turkey?” Erdoğan asked.

Previously, Erdoğan had declared Syria’s civil war, as well as the 2013 coup in Egypt, to be Turkey’s internal matter.

Blaming certain provocative groups for perpetrating the violent protests, Erdoğan also said: “It is not only the PKK [outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party], or the political wing of that terrorist group. The [Bashar] al-Assad regime in Syria is also behind these events. These two are working together.”

Harshly criticizing international media groups reporting that “the solution process is over,” Erdoğan added: “Some international media groups are also behind these events. And also Pennsylvania, which would never miss any opportunity for treason against Turkey.”     

The government has long accused Fethullah Gülen, the Pennsylvania-based Islamic preacher, of attempting to overthrow the government.

“Did we not accommodate 200,000 of our Kurdish brothers when they sought refuge here? Turkey took in all of the 200,000, and provided refuge and food for them,” Erdoğan asked.

Turkey launched what is publicly known as the “solution process” to end the decades-old conflict with the PKK, a dispute which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people over more than 30 years. The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.