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"Taksim Gezi Park protests should not be compared with Arab Spring"

12 June 2013 19:40 (Last updated 12 June 2013 19:41)
Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Bagis said it was irrational to compare Taksim Gezi Park protests with the Arab Spring
PARIS (AA) - Turkish Minister for European Union Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said on Wednesday it was irrational to compareTaksim Gezi Park protests with the Arab Spring.

Speaking at Izmir's EXPO 2020 candidacy presentation in Paris, Bagis said Turkey was a country where democratic elections are held and it was unfair to compare Turkey with the events in countries where there was no democracy.

Turkey's ruling party came into power with  democratic elections, said Bagis adding " The situation in Turkey is not similar to the ones in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.  If Turkish electors are not happy with our practices they will show this in the next elections."

Bagis said Turkish government had no objection to the protestors who have environmental concerns but had had no tolerance for the terrorist groups using violence.

Stating that  the terrorist group which perpetrated a suicide attack on the US Embassy in Ankara, known as Revolutionary People's Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C) attended the demonstrations to abuse, Bagis said "If  an Al-Qaeda banner was hung over on the Statute of Liberty how would New York Times react?"

"It is interesting to have such incidents in Turkey when the outlawed terror organization PKK laid down arms and the economic and development figures are at best levels," said Bagis. " Interest lobby and several financial institutions are disturbed by the growth and development in Turkey."

Bagis also said Turkey would strengthen the EU and the union would be a global peace project with Turkey's full membership to the EU.

Bagis criticized the Greek Cypriot administration for preventing Turkey's EU membership negotiations saying "Turkey was vitally important for the EU in terms of EU's energy policies."

englishnews@aa.com.tr

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