Turkish Deputy PM says Jewish Diaspora behind Gezi protests

Turkish Deputy PM says Jewish Diaspora behind Gezi protests

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay speaks to reporters during a press conference. (Photo: Today's Zaman)

July 02, 2013, Tuesday/ 11:44:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay has stated that external powers and the Jewish Diaspora triggered the recent protests in Turkey and worked effectively to fuel the unrest in the country.

“There are some circles that are jealous of Turkey's growth. They are all uniting, and on one side is the Jewish Diaspora. You saw the foreign media's attitude during the Gezi Park incidents; they bought it and started broadcasting immediately, without doing a [proper] evaluation of the [situation],” Atalay said on Monday while in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale.

The Gezi demonstrations began at the end of May in protest of government plans for the redevelopment of Gezi Park in İstanbul's Taksim Square. The demonstrations spread to other provinces in the country and turned into anti-government protests.

Atalay also said the foreign media played a large role in the conspiracy and skillfully manipulated the unrest. “Those who try to block the way of Great Turkey will not succeed,” added the deputy prime minister.

On Tuesday, the Turkish Jewish Community issued a statement on its website expressing its concerns over the statements by Atalay.

“We are closely following the media and trying to obtain information about the meaning, scope and details of Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay's statement about the Jewish Diaspora being behind the Gezi protests. But, in any case, based on the fact that Turkish-Jewish citizens as well as other Jewish people living all around the globe may be affected and become the target of such generalizations, we wish to express our concerns and share our apprehension and worry about the consequences that such perceptions can cause,” said the statement.

The protests dominated the headlines of major foreign news outlets worldwide after they spread to other Turkish cities in a short period of time due to the police use of pepper spray and tear gas to disperse the thousands of people who had joined the protests.

Interior Minister Muammer Güler recently announced that over 600 police officers and thousands of citizens have been wounded during the clashes between protesters and police. Four protesters and one police officer have been killed during the protests.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan blamed an “interest rate lobby” and the world media for fueling the protests.

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