The police response to the initial protests against the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park in favor of a mall were wrong, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said, apologizing to injured protesters “with environmental concerns.” during a speech today.
But Arınç added in a speech today that the government did not “feel like they owed anything to those who cause harm.”
The police has been ordered not to use tear gas, excluding in cases of self defense, he said.
The initial reaction against the demolition of a park in Istanbul’s central Taksim district was “legitimate and patriotic,” Arınç said.
“Our citizens showed their legitimate, logical and righteous reaction at Gezi Park,” he said, recalling that he was speaking as the deputy of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who yesterday left for an official visit to Morocco.
However, Arınç called on citizens not to let these group’s demands be spoiled by “marginal and illegal groups.”
Turkey is willing to see a normalization in the one-week long protests, as violence is declining rapidly, he said, also praising the opposition parties’ “sensitive” attitude to calm down events.
Arınç thanked the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for their attitudes regarding the ongoing protests.
“We want our opposition parties to reflect calming attitudes that highlight common sense. I thank the MHP for its attitude from the start, and the BDP, too. I also thank the [Republican People’s Party] CHP’s Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu for his statements about attending the protests as a person and not on behalf of his party,” he said.