Turkish PM: Republic Day rally was provocated

Turkish PM: Republic Day rally was provocated

Turkish PM: Republic Day rally was provocated

AA photo

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the police for their actions during Republic Day celebrations while slamming main opposition Republican People’s Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for turning a celebration into a provocation. 

"There is no such truth that we didn't allow the march. Kılıçdaroğlu celebrated the last Republic Day beside me at the official celebrations. Why didn’t this happen again? Why is he trying to celebrate it in his own way this time while it was being celebrated in eight different locations in Ankara? This is not an alternative celebration, this is a provocation," private television station NTV reported Erdoğan said. 

Erdoğan attended the Republic Day reception at Çankaya Palace where he commented on events that took place during celebrations earlier today.

Erdoğan also had critical words for the police and the media.

"I didn't give an order to remove the [police] barriers. The police didn't do their job. Eleven police officers were wounded and the media, who reported [about the use of] pepper gas and pressurized water cannons [by the police] did not report this," Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan also commented on Kurdish inmates who are currently conducting a hunger strike, saying the government would intervene when necessary.

"There is no one hungry there. My minister of justice went there and observed the conditions. Everyone is eating everything. An intervention will be done when necessary."

This year Erdoğan attended the Presidents' Republic Day reception for the first time with his wife at his side and condemned those who had until now refused to let them in together.