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Turkish premier demands immediate end to protests

(File photo)

Press TV

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for an immediate end to the anti-government protests that have swept the country for the past several days.

Erdogan made the remark on Friday in an address to his supporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport upon returning from a four-day trip to North Africa.

“I call for an immediate end to the demonstrations, which have lost their democratic credentials and turned into vandalism,” Erdogan said to thousands of cheering supporters who descended on the airport to welcome him home.

He thanked his supporters for their restraint in recent days.

“You have remained calm, mature and showed common sense,” the premier said, adding that “we’re all going to go home from here… You’re not the type of people to bang pots and pans on the streets.”

Speaking in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, on Thursday, hours before his return to Turkey, Erdogan enraged protesters at home by saying that he would go ahead with a controversial plan to redevelop Istanbul’s Gezi Park, which is part of the city’s iconic Taksim Square.

Meanwhile, thousands of whistle-blowing protesters gathered in Taksim Square, chanting, “Erdogan, Resign!”

“He doesn’t want to change something but he will do it. I don’t know when, but he will change,” said one of the protesters.

Erdogan responded to calls for his resignation by referring to his election victory in 2011, when he took 50 percent of the vote.

“They say I am the prime minister of only 50 percent. It’s not true. We have served the whole of the 76 million from the east to the west,” the Turkish premier stated.

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