President Abdullah Gül has intervened to stop the police crackdown in Taksim, urging “sensitivity and maturity” to calm the five day long tensions down.
Official sources told the Hürriyet Daily News that around 2:30 p.m. Gül called the Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, Interior Minister Muammer Güler and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Emphasizing that the situation was “very sensitive,” Gül urged moderation. Following the call, the interior minister called for the police forces to be pulled back from Taksim, ahead of the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) rally in the afternoon.
Witnesses’ accounts said police officers, despite withdrawing, fired tear gas at protesters in the İstiklal Avenue, Gümüşsuyu, and Beşiktaş connections to Taksim Square.
In a written statement, Gül said the security forces should act more carefully than usual, should be sensitive while dealing with protesters, and should not let “saddening” scenes emerge.
The president also revealed that he had shared these thoughts with state and government officials, including Erdoğan. “I believe that everybody will immediately do his share to provide calm and discuss the issue that will suit us,” he said.
“What’s more important is to be able to discuss [issues] in a civilized manner. To be open to dialogue, to be able to lend an ear to different opinions. In a democratic country, reactions should be made in a way that will not allow room for abuse, with common sense and calm. At the same time, officials should also put more effort into lending an ear to different thoughts and concerns,” Gül said.
01 June 2013