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ANKARA, June 2 (Itar-Tass) - The protests against the cutting destruction of the Istanbul Park Gezi are not environmental, and ideological, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in Istanbul on Sunday.
“At a time when Turkey is achieving success in all spheres we are witnessing completely unwanted provocations. We see the attempts to bring chaos into the country that in the past had been used to overthrow the government. We see that these provocations were staged out of despair by the opposition and other forces that know that they will lose the elections,” Erdogan said.
The public is outraged not only by the plans to cut down the park, but also by the prospect of building of a shopping centre in its place. The prime minister answered to this that the authorities are planning to build in the place of the Gezi Park “barracks corresponding to the relevant historical realities and with preserving the green planting.” “The final decision on the construction of the shopping centre has not been made yet. Also, it cannot be built here,” Erdogan said.
During the protests in Ankara, according to the city mayor’s office, 16 city buses, 60 bus stops and hundreds of advertising structures were destroyed. In the streets adjacent to K·z·lay square in the city centre shop windows were smashed and bank branches’ lobbies were destroyed. The traces of dozens of fires can be seen on the sidewalks. From the early morning the community services promptly engaged in street cleaning. Meanwhile, people with obvious signs of poisoning with tear gas were coming out some time ago from the entrances to the underground railway in the square. Eyewitnesses warned pedestrians to avoid going down into the subway.
In Istanbul, the situation remains relatively calm, including in the Besiktas district, where there were major clashes of protesters with the police overnight. The street cleaning and debris clearing operations continue. The owners of many shops and cafes, affected by the actions of the crowd are calculating the damage.
During Saturday's protests in Istanbul about 200 people were arrested, and in Ankara - about 140. In other cities of Turkey, the number of those arrested ranges from 20 to 90. The vast majority of them after giving testimony have been released. Groups of young people in the streets of the Turkish capital claim that the protests will be resume on Sunday. Calls are still spread in social networks for the citizens to take to the streets again. However, no large disturbances have been observed.