‘Turkish PM Erdoğan did not dress me down,’ minister says

‘Turkish PM Erdoğan did not dress me down,’ minister says

ISTANBUL - Doğan News Agency
‘Turkish PM Erdoğan did not dress me down,’ minister says

Bayraktar says there was nothing wrong with prime minister’s warning to him. He said he had to bend down as the prime minister was sitting down. DHA Photo

Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar has reacted to criticism that his kneeling down to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan indicates that the prime minister was “dressing him down” over the weekend, in the Black Sea region province of Rize.

“Who did [Erdoğan] dress down, where? He made warnings. The one who warns is superior to me. Along with being the prime minister, he is the leader of our cause. I listened to him in the manner befitting a statesman,” Bayraktar told reporters at the reception of Afghanistan’s Ankara mission, marking the 94th independence day of the country.

The footage, showing him kneeling down before Erdoğan during a ceremony open to the public, had caused a quarrel recently.

However, Bayraktar refutes claims that there was something wrong with the prime minister’s attitude toward him. “The prime minister calls me near to him. The man is sitting down, I have to bend or crouch down. He is warning me there, everyone can warn each other. You must thank the one warning you. Then I approached him one more time and talked for a while. This man is our leader more than a prime minister. There is no such thing [as a dressing down],” he said. "Hierarchy is important, where hierarchy does not exist, there could be anarchy."

Bayraktar said Erdoğan criticized the landscape, along with the roads, in Rize, and told him to correct this problem. The prime minister also demanded that the high buildings on the shore be “corrected.”

Prime Minister Erdoğan had inspected the urban sprawl in the popular vacation venue of Bodrum on Aug. 15 and was accompanied by Environment and Urban Planning Minister Erdoğan Bayraktar on his trip to the coast then.

Erdoğan had found “the situation catastrophic.” “This much unjustness is not acceptable. Development has almost expanded into the sea. There is not even a coastline. Housing will be in the sea in the next step if this continues,” he said in an interview with daily Hürriyet on Aug. 18.

Bayraktar on Aug. 26 said a major plan was set to replace this unchecked urbanization with parks on Turkey’s shores.

He said a big transformation was set to start from the western province of Çanakakale to the southern port province of İskenderun, aiming to open these places to the public with green areas by demolishing unlicensed and illegal constructions.