Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserts that the ongoing protests are not creating a Turkish Spring despite the anti-government turn of the demonstration.
Speaking at a news conference in Monaco, Mr Erdogan said that the demonstrations were rather orchestrated by extremists. He further accused his opposition of provoking the Turkish citizens.
What started as a protest against plans to change the Gezi Park has turned into an anti-government demonstration. On Monday, the protesters once again clashed with the police resulting in a more violent night in Istanbul.
The police used tear gas to protesters approaching the office of Mr Erdogan. They were once again reported to have employed tear gas along with water cannon in the capital Ankara.
During a televised news, Mr Erdogan said, “There are those attending these events organized by extremists.” He further added that the issue has not transcended the original purpose of the demonstration and that the events have “affiliations both with Turkey and abroad.”
After the demonstrations escalated, Mr Erdogan further accused his opposition party of provoking his “innocent citizens.” He denied that the events are not Turkish Spring and called out those who circulated that the assumption as people “who do not know Turkey.”
The anti-government protest resulted from the government’s increasingly authoritarian leadership. Mr Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party was feared and accused of imposing conservative Islamic values that hinder the citizen’s freedom and country’s democracy.
More than 1,700 have been arrested since the demonstration but many have been released.
At the Besiktas district, demonstrators used paving stones to create barricades as the police answered by firing tear gas and using water cannon.
Several establishments, including shops, mosques and a university, also in Besiktas, were transformed into makeshift hospitals to treat the wounded protesters.
Recent news has also reported that the unrest spread in Izmir, Adana and Gaziantep.
Mr Erdogan insisted that the protesters were orchestrated by his opposition, the Republican People’s Party.
The demonstration started as a protest against the redevelopment of the beloved Gezi Park, which many say as one of the few green areas in Istanbul.