Turkey: Erdogan adopts hard line, park to proceed

Terrorists with protesters, says PM in Tunis. Shares down 4%

06 June, 18:30

    Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Tunisia Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Tunisia

    (ANSAmed) - Tunis - Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reaffirmed his hard line on the mass protests engulfing his country saying he plans to redevelop the Istanbul park despite the opposition.

    Speaking in Tunis on an official visit, Erdogan said he had no intention of shelving the development which threatens the destruction of 600 trees in Gezi Park in Taksim in the European heart of the city.

    Erdogan said "a terrorist organisation" was behind the chaos and said the project "respects the history, culture and environment". "What we are trying to do is defend the rights of the majority and preserve the beauty of Istanbul," he said. Istanbul's stock exchange reacted negatively to Erdogan's hardline comments, posting a loss of 4% "Among the protesters there are some extremists, several have been implicated in terrorism," he said.

    "Militants of this terrorist organisation were present in Taksim square," he said.

    Turkish media fear Erdogan's return to Turkey will inflame tensions that have diminised in the past four days.

    According to the left-leaning daily, Sozcu, which quoted an opposition MP, Erdogan reacted angrily while in Morocco to the news that his deputy Bulent Arinc had apologised to the protesters, following talks with president Abdullah Gul.

    (ANSAmed).

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