In comments on the days-long anti-government protests in İstanbul and across the country, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said on Monday that the well-intentioned messages of protesters had been received and called for “common sense.”
“Democracy is not just about voting [someone into power]; the message [the protesters want to convey] has been taken. What is necessary will be done,” Gül said on Monday, speaking to a group of reporters in Ankara.
Gül also called on all sides for restraint, expressing concern about the presence of illegal organizations in the demonstrations.
“Turkey's democracy has been tested,” Gül further stated.
Tens of thousands of people took to the streets in Turkey's biggest cities over the weekend and clashed with riot police firing tear gas, leaving hundreds of people injured.
The unrest was sparked by protests against government plans to redevelop İstanbul's Taksim Square, long a rallying point for mass demonstrations, but widened into a broad show of defiance against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).
"This is a protest organized by extremist elements," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a news conference on Monday at İstanbul airport before his planned departure on an official visit to Morocco.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Haziran 2013, 13:28