Prime Minister Erdogan Declares Popular Support Despite Intensified Unrest
Amid renewed protests, including a strike by three workers’ unions in Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attributed instigation of the current turmoil to “traitors”, depicting some protesters as ‘terrorists’ who have challenged his government. He linked the recent protests to deadly car bomb attacks last month and accused media organisations of having advance knowledge of the unrest.
The Financial Times reported that Mr. Erdogan said Turkey has become the target of an “interest rate lobby” that wants to suppress the country’s growth, as well as foreign powers and, to a large extent, the international media. Addressing Members of Parliament (MPs) from his ruling Justice and Development Party or AKP, the prime minister said he would keep showing “the traitors inside [Turkey] and their partners outside” that the party retained overwhelming support. He also suggested that births delivered by Caesarean section were part of a plot to reduce the population because of what he said was its damaging effect on female fertility. “We are foiling the games intended to reduce the population of this nation,” he said in reference to caesareans, abortion and birth control.
Mr Erdogan described the demonstrations as a “continuation of Reyhanli” – referring to car bomb blasts in a town near Turkey’s Syrian border that killed 52 people last month, and added: “Some media organisations, both domestic and international, were prepared for these organised protests.”