[QODLink]
Europe

Turkey PM to continue with Istanbul park plan

Erdogan says plan to overhaul park remains despite rallies, and avoids outright apology to protesters for use of force.

Last Modified: 06 Jun 2013 13:32
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Anti-government protesters have been demonstrating across the country for almost one week [EPA]

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his government will go ahead with controversial plans to overhaul a small park in central Istanbul, despite mass protests against the redevelopment in Taksim square.

Speaking to reporters in Tunis after a meeting with his Tunisian counterpart on Thursday, Erdogan said some groups were manipulating what had started as an environmental protest, and that a number of foreigners had been arrested.

Turkish assets weakened on after Erdogan made the announcement.

The main Istanbul share index fell 4.24 percent by 1234 GMT, while the lira weakened to 1.8914 against the dollar following Erdogan's comments.

The protests in Turkey were sparked early June by the police break-up of a sit-in to prevent the demolition of a park in central Istanbul.

The demonstration spiralled into rallies by thousands denouncing what they say is the government's increasingly authoritarian form of governing and its meddling in people's lifestyles. 

Al Jazeera's Anita McNaught, reporting from Ankara, said Erdogan also stressed on the amount of vandalism caused by protesters on some infrastructure, saying that it "was scarecely in the name of environmentalism."

On the alleged excessive use of force against those protesting, Erdogan did not make an outright apology, and said that "the neccessary words" of regret had already been said by his deputy prime minister.

 

218

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The world's newest professional sport comes from an unlikely source: video games.
The group's takeover of farms in Qaraqosh, 30km from Mosul, has caused fear among residents, and a jump in food prices.
Protests and online activism in recent months have brought a resurgence of ethnic Oromo nationalism in Ethiopia.
Chemotherapy is big business, but some US doctors say it could be overused and are pushing for cheaper and better care.
Amid vote audit and horse-trading, politicians of all hues agree a compromise is needed to avoid political instability.
join our mailing list