Turkish PM in "coutneroffensive" as protests continueSource: Beta
ISTANBUL -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched "a verbal counter-offensive" aimed against the tens of thousands of protesters in his country.
His message for the citizens gathering in the streets of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, was that they were "robbers and extremists who are plotting an organized conspiracy within and outside the country."
Erdogan yesterday appeared in several television shows to take up the entire media space, news agencies are reporting.
"We were patient and we are still, but patience has its limits. We do not want showdowns with marginal groups, but we have the responsibility
toward the people... The people brought us to power, and they alone can make us go away," said the Turkish prime minister.
Meanwhile demonstrators gathered for a tenth day at Taksim Square in Istanbul, and in the now famous Geza Park, which Erdogan plans to demolish to build a commercial center.
This decision triggered a wave of street protests, primarily in Istanbul, which then - after a harsh police crackdown - turned into the ongoing anti-government protests.
The protesters accuse the conservative government, which has been in power since 2002, of authoritarian policies and Islamization of the secular Turkish state.
During the demonstrations so far four people lost their lives while nearly 5,000 were injured in clashes with police.