Sunday, June 16, 2013

Police lock down Taksim, PM shows off in Istanbul

    Sunday, June 16, 2013   No comments

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader addressed hundreds of thousands of people in a landmark meeting in Istanbul today only half a day after a large-scale police crackdown on protesters in Gezi, a central Istanbul park that is at the heart of the nearly 20-day-long street action across the country.

The AKP meeting in Istanbul’s Kazlıçeşme, not very far from Gezi Park, was a part of the party‘s official launch of the local elections campaign, which is set to be held in March next year.

Party leader and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself said at an Ankara meeting, the first leg of the campaign-start, that the “Respect for National Will” meetings were by no means a move against the Gezi protests.

“Those who wonder about what’s going on in Turkey should better look at Kazlıçeşme, at Istanbul,” Erdoğan told his supporters in Istanbul.

“These hundreds of thousands of people are not the ones who have burned and destroyed; these hundreds of thousands of people are not traitors like those who throw Molotov cocktails at my people. Whatever we do, we’ll remain within the frame of democracy and the rule of law. We have never pushed the limits of legality,” he said.

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