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Turkey is perfectly ‘safe’, envoy says
June 17, 2013, 11:24 pm

Turkey is a perfectly safe country and there is no reason for anyone to be alarmed, the Turkish envoy has said. Speaking at a press conference yesterday at their embassy in Dasma, Murat Tamer, Ambassador of Turkey to Kuwait, said the protest which has been going on for days now in Istanbul is nothing but a demonstration calling for government’s intervention on the issue of green park located in Istanbul’s suburb of Taksim. Explaining why it blew into some sort of a national issue, he said it was connected to the manner in which police authorities reacted while dispersing the protesters. “The reported excessive use of force became a national issue,” he reasoned, adding, “But the protest is all about retaining the green park as it is and not to turn it into an area for shopping malls or real estate properties.

It is the only green area in that part of Taksim, so it became a national issue.” But he assured that the government is now handling the issue properly. “The people who used excessive force could face trial,” he asserted. “When the protesters use their democratic rights, the authorities also exercise their legal right so as to protect the civilians and the state. When both sides claim their rights, it usually results in clashes,” he explained. “But both are exercising their legal rights. That is one good thing about any vibrant democracy,” he pointed out.

Tamer mentioned that government has already spoken to its national leaders about the issue and that both sides agreed that the only way to resolve the problem was to organize a plebiscite. “Both agreed to hold a plebiscite although no date has been set for the plebiscite.” He elaborated further that during the past seven years, Turkey only figured in the news for all the right reasons and news such as those about protests was something new for the country and made headlines in certain newspapers. “This is all new for our media and the media around the world and it seems therefore as if we have a crisis in the country.

It leads to headlines,” he added. Protesters, according to Tamer, were small groups of people and it would never affect the safety and security of the tourists. “Business was as usual and everything in Turkey is now normal. We have normal five times a week flight to Turkey from Kuwait and we are perfectly alright and safe. We want to assure our visitors that Turkey is very safe,” he reiterated. “We can say that there are some pockets of protests until now but even these are subsiding and are already contained,” he added, but admitted there were some small groups taking advantage of the situation.

He called these as merely marginal groups who are a bunch of boys throwing stones and provoking clashes. He also confirmed there were a small numbers of protesters asking their president to step down, but said their PM has already spoken. “Our PM said the way to replace the government is through voting and peaceful elections. Nothing more,” he said. He denied rumors that it was all somehow connected to their policy against Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad government. “The protest currently on is mainly about the green park in Taksim, and was never about anything else or about our stand against the Bashar Al-Assad government. There is no truth that there is any direct intervention of foreign countries, and we would like to categorically state that,” he concluded. On Sunday, Turkish Prime Minister Recept Tayyid Erdogan told a crowd of more than 100,000 supporters, that it was his duty to order crackdown on Istanbul protest park, as police and anti-government demonstrators faced off in a fresh clash. The crisis began when a peaceful sitin to save Gezi’s Park’s 600 trees from being razed prompted a brutal police response spiraling the into countrywide demonstrations against the leader. The crisis claims four lives and 7,500 injured.

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