[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
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lacking cohesive local ground forces to attack in tandem, coalition air strikes will have limited effect, experts say.
Hindu right-wing groups run campaign against what they say is Muslim conspiracy to convert Hindu girls into Islam.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
Muslim caretakers maintain three synagogues in eastern Indian city, which was once home to a thriving Jewish community.
Amid fresh ISIL gains, officials in Anbar province have urged the Iraqi government to request foreign ground troops.