March 31, 2015 11:20 UTC

In the News

Erdogan Rejects Criticism of Turkey Protests

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C) waves to supporters after arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk airport early June 7, 2013.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C) waves to supporters after arriving at Istanbul's Ataturk airport early June 7, 2013.


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From VOA Learning English, this is In the News.
Turkey’s Prime Minister has rejected criticism of police violence against protesters. Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reacting to comments from a European Union official. The EU Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, had earlier urged Turkey to investigate the violence and punish those responsible. The Turkish leader said on Friday that police in Europe would use even greater force against protesters.
The two men spoke at a conference in Istanbul. Turkey is seeking membership in the EU.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Erdogan had demanded an immediate end to nationwide protests against his government. He spoke at Istanbul’s airport to thousands of supporters. The crowd shouted “We will crush them” and “God is Great” as they waited for him to return from a week-long visit to North African nations.   
Speaking to the crowd, the prime minister said the anti-government protests border on illegality.
His comments were far different from an apology earlier in the week from Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. He said it was wrong to use “excessive force” against people seeking to protect the environment.
The demonstrations began at the end of May after the government announced plans to redevelop Gezi park in Istanbul. Protesters say the park is one of the few open and natural spaces in a city of almost 14 million people.
The early protests were called to protect trees from being destroyed. The demonstrations spread across the country as people reacted to the police violence.
One incident repeatedly shown on television news and social media shows a policeman firing tear gas at a woman in a red dress. Some demonstrators now carry pictures of the incident that say, “The more you tear gas us, the bigger we get.”
Protesters also condemned actions aimed at enforcing Islamic rules. One recent law, for example, added restrictions on alcohol use. Protesters see the restrictions as evidence of the government enforcing Islamic values in a democratic and non-religious state.
As many as 1,700 protesters were arrested in about 60 cities during the past week. In Izmir, police raided the homes of Twitter and Facebook users. The charges against those arrested said they had incited crime.
A young demonstrator expressed fears that fighting between government supporters and protesters would divide the Turkish people.

“I think unfortunately we will start fighting with our people, the other side. The other side, their side. But I don't think there's something like the other side. But he's supporting the other side.”

The proposed development of Gezi park is part of a larger building project in Istanbul. It includes plans to build a new mosque, a shopping center and a performing arts center. The proposal calls for destroying the historic Ataturk Cultural Center. The center is named for Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who established the modern Republic of Turkey. Last week, a local court ordered a temporary stop to work on the project.
Turkish media has criticized itself for failing to report on the events of the past week. One television network, NTV, apologized after some reporters resigned in protest at the lack of reporting on the early protests.
That’s In The News. I’m Katherine Cole.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: husein from: diyarbakır/Turkey
06/12/2013 12:17 PM
hı all.
protests not for thirteen trees, they are for to verthroving the government because they see that it is imposible to win the elections, there are a lot of people who supports Erdoğan so they finds excuses. 1
. there wont be a shopping center or a mosque on Gezi Park. 2. protesters killed a police and tried to kill a child.
3.if they want to give punishment to government there is an election 7 months later. they are free
4.restrictions about alchool is not beyond of European countries. there made some regulations in order not to be so much traffıc accidents.
5.the News you broadcasts about this subjects are very biased. you think governtment should accept thier requests. ıf ıt happens millions of people protest government because this wont be democracy it will be a surrendering to terrorism . the people who protest only very minor of turkey, have you asked the majority who live in Istanbul do they want this projects or not?

In Response

by: Serkan from: Istanbul
06/19/2013 10:42 AM
Contrary to some international press’ exaggerated broadcast (such as CNN and BBC) there were few protests including innocent persons ask to use their democratic rights in Istanbul. But later some international groups and media distorted these democratic protests, supported by broadcasts to marginal groups and wanted to change these protest against Turkish Government, overthrow the Government and stop growing Turkey. But everybody must know that ‘nobody can stop growing TURKEY’

In Response

by: Serdar from: istanbul
06/13/2013 3:11 PM
Husein I read your article. I agree with you some topics in your article and also I do not agree with you in some topics in article

First of all yes you are right if they wanna give punishment to them they've should waited to elections for changing the goverment. But we have to agree in this topic not all of them wanna change the goverment with undemocratic ways.

Very small group have wanted to change the goverment with antidemocratic ways so you shouldnt blame all of protesters
and the other one there is some writting about alcohol in your writting
I agree with you some people have accident due to alcohol but we can not stop it that stop to sell alcohol. we should increase of punishment so we prevent the accident due to alcohol. we should even sentence to penal servitude for life who drunk driving but we shouldnt interfere to personal life
And for instance in your opinion we should prohibit to use of knife because some people that use it for killing someone

In Response

by: ayhan from: istanbul
06/19/2013 8:47 PM
it is not a good example, alcohol and a knife. you could use a knife for good things, also it is useful. but you cannot use a bottle of whisky for anything axcept drinking it. you should stand for rights, you know it is as your name, alcohol is not good and if drink so much it makes you unconscious.

the protests are grown up incidently by some communities and peoples. be aware, Turkey has a great potential and everthing will be good.

In Response

by: husein from: diyarbakır
06/14/2013 9:44 PM
thank you Serdar for answering. the matter is that foreign news broadcasts as if drinking alchol is not permitted and banned comletely in Turkey and ıt ıs done intentionally.
but when we look other countries' laws we see the smillar regulations despite they are not muslim countrıes.
for example ın the u.s.a selling smaller than 21 years has banned while ın our country 18 years old. the reason why they need to regulate drinking alchol is the same ın our country.

by: mahmood kamali from: Rafsanjan_Iran
06/11/2013 11:52 AM
Hi thank you for helping me . Actually I am so keen on learning English spacially American English I hope you promote your endeavour any way more thanks

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
06/11/2013 12:07 AM
Any protests in peaceful ways should be protected and do not be diturbed by any official forces. I think it is good the redeveloping plan of the park is postponed because Atatulk's museum should be preserved honoring his efforts to have made Turky modern society. I think religion is one thing and politics is another. I hope Turkish people do not be too forced by Islamic faiths. Thanlk you.

by: Adem from: Aydın
06/09/2013 1:11 PM
I know and acknowledged that police had used "excessive force" against activists at the original sit-in. But I know that a small group was now manipulating what had started as an environmental protest.I believe Among the protesters there are extremists, some of them implicated in terrorism, more than 500 police officers are among the injured.And the police officer has died.

AKP will have nothing to do with fighting and vandalism...The secret to AKP’s success is not tension and polarization."
The police are doing their duty. These protests, which have turned into vandalism and utter lawlessness must end immediately,
The financial institutions and markets, which have fallen on the troubles.
The interest rate lobby thinks they can threaten AKP by entering into speculations in the stock exchange. They should know AKP will not let them abuse the nation's wealth."
Mr. Erdogan swept to power in 2002 shortly after founding his AKP party from center-right elements. In a decade he has transformed the economy, tripling per capita income, introduced some rights reforms and reining in an army that had toppled four governments in 40 years.

by: Fernando from: Brazil
06/09/2013 1:56 AM
I'd like to congratulate the protesters. The govern needs to feel that the people is alive, and not accept everything they want to impose. I think that everybody should understand that government and religion are separate things, and they should never be mistaken. The people's liberty must be a value to build a better society. For example, alchool ingestion is a bad thing in principle, and some say that alchool is a drog just like others, but, in a middle term, alchool is used in lots of parties to make them happier, and this is part of the freedom of each one.

In Response

by: mert from: izmir
07/06/2013 7:06 AM
Adem from aydın had told us lies like his dictator leader.He talks about vandalism.If you want to see vandalism,You can see police's behaviour against peacefull protesters. Adem is talking about interest loby.It is ridiculous.Because there is no like that lobby .It is fiction.Dictator wants to washed brain people around him like poor adem.

In Response

by: Khubyar from: FarEast Russia-khabarovsk
06/16/2013 3:28 AM
if everyone wants to do, then why are there laws in the world? if Liberty for freedom is damaging public property, of course we wouldn't want that. Turkey, is after Mr.Erdogan's GOvernment captured conquered not only by their and many of the nation's hearts.
The protesters just small community requests, and their desires not important then the %50 voters requests.
Events, which consists of all of the opposing groups and organizations tiny indigestion(dyspepsia) CAMPAIGNS.


06/08/2013 4:27 PM
From your report, it can be drawn that Mr.Erdogan is behaving to be a dictator. He tries to supress people's desire for freedom with his iorn hand. His policy is 'divide and rule' invented by the British people. He tries to impose Muslim laws on all the people unmindful of their respective religions. But a restriction on the use of alcohol is good for the total well being of the society. Thank you.

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
06/08/2013 3:24 AM
I think democratic societies usually deal with politics separately from religion. Poritics is one thing and religion is another in Japan like in other western countries. I understand Ataturk changed the Turkish society into such a liberal one from Ottoman Turks after losing WWI.

Now Turkish government is ruled by Islam and trying to rule people by its Islamic faith. I heard 99 percet of Turkish are islam and so many supporters are waiting for PM to return with no doubt about unification of politics and religion.

I suppose protesters would be pacified because they are minorities in present Turk. By the way, I am sorry if Turkish people are not permitted drinking alcohol.

In Response

by: osman from: izmir
07/06/2013 7:12 PM
thank you for your beatiful ideas but unfortunately ı m very sorry about one thing . THE TURKISH JEALOUSY. the reason why ı saıd the Turkısh jealousy is that these kinds of problems are always seen in other countries including europeen countries like greece, france, italy, spain, syria (big cold war), Brasil, china... But unfortunately when we look at the media, only the ones, the problems happening in Turkey appears on the world media too. And a little problem become suddenly a very great rebell with the exageration of the media. Actually gentlemen we also know very well that the country in which the polices authorization is the most stricted is again Turkey. The police of Turkey in comparison with U.S., French, italian police is very innocent but despite this the inspectors are always running to help the citizens against the tortures of the police. But WHERE WERE THE İNSPECTORS in 2005 in the banlieu rebells against the French government. because I ve seen very clearly that the police was very well stopping the protestants violently and with full authaurity. Where were those inspectors in U.S. protests when the police shot lots of young because of runnig off the road or just because bringing their hand to their back or only for not listening the police's stop call... Everybody should be aware of the TRUTH...

In Response

by: husein from: diyarbakır/turkey
06/12/2013 3:04 PM
drinking alchol is permitted but only selling after 22.:00 is banned, and driving with alchol is punnished by taking thier driving licience for six month. pls dont make comment without knowing something

In Response

by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
06/15/2013 4:39 AM
Mr.husein. Thank you for your information and comments. You made me know you can drink some alcohol, but remember I did not say you can not drink alcohol at all. You would understand if you read my comment again. Are you getting angry?

This thread is a part of learnning English for learnning people. I send my commnets partly as for my English writing practice. You would be better do not take too much, or was it be so painful to you?

I would like to ask you which you prefer politics relying on a religion or politics independent from a religion? It would be more kind of you if you tell me how Atatulk is recognized or estimated by contempolary Turkish people because I learned him as a hero of Turkey in the history course in my high school age.

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