Turkish PM Erdoğan slams Gezi Park protesters again
‘You pro-Gezis, you started off with 10 trees, didn’t you? I wonder if you ever planted a tree anywhere,’ says Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan in Ankara. AA photoPrime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was once again critical of protesters who have held various demonstrations during the Gezi Park unrest, this time by focusing on the sincerity of their environmentalism.
“You pro-Gezis, you started off with 10 trees, didn’t you? I wonder if you ever planted a tree anywhere. Here, everywhere we plant trees; we bring our country and people together with the green. I wonder, you the representatives of the main opposition [the Republican People’s Party], what do you plant, and where? What else do you do other than gossip, slander, planting seeds of discord among these beautiful people of ours?” Erdoğan said in a speech delivered on Aug. 30 during the opening ceremony of a newly completed boulevard by the Ankara Metropolitan Municipality. He declared “Ankara Boulevard” as the name of the new boulevard on the spot.
In a clear reference to the protest form of banging pots and pans prompted by the Gezi protests, Erdoğan stated, “We do not seek youth that bang on tinware. We do not seek youth with pans and pots. We seek youth which will read, think and lay stones, lay stones for the future of Turkey, build our walls, sweat in rebuilding our Turkey.”
“You pro-Gezis, it would be fine if you just wander [referring to the meaning of Gezi, which mean excursion in Turkish], you always lie down. You either impede or lie down. Whatever you do, you will not be able to stop this blessed walk,” he added, defying the protests.
Erdoğan also repeated his discontent over the lack of action on behalf of the U.N. and the Arab League regarding Syria and Egypt. “The U.N. has not fulfilled its duty, neither has the Arab League. We have declared that we will be with those who will fulfill a humanitarian duty,” he said.