Turkey’s PM Erdogan: “Allah Demands Protests End Immediately”
Turkish police subdue unruly freedom protester.
In a shocking photo said to perfectly capture the escalating violence administered to anti-government demonstrators in Istanbul a woman in a red dress is seen being viciously sprayed by a Turkish riot policeman. (NY Daily News)
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan flew back to a Turkey rocked by days of anti-government unrest on Friday and declared before a sea of flag-waving supporters at Istanbul airport: “These protests must end immediately.”
“No power but Allah can stop Turkey’s rise,” he told thousands who gathered in the early hours to greet him in the first pro-Erdogan rally since demonstrations began a week ago.
At Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the center of the protests and now occupied by thousands around the clock, some chanted “Tayyip resign” as they watched a broadcast of the address. In the capital, Ankara, the Kugulu Park echoed with anti-government slogans, while protesters danced or sang the national anthem.
Speaking from an open-top bus at the airport, his wife at his side, Erdogan acknowledged police might have used excessive force in crushing a small demonstration against a building project last Friday — the action that triggered nationwide protests against his 10-year rule.
“However, no one has the right to attack us through this. May Allah preserve our fraternity and unity. We will have nothing to do with fighting and vandalism. … The secret to our success is not tension and polarization,” Erdogan told the crowd.