Hot on the heels of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest screed against “terrorist” protesters and the foreign media, all of whom he said should “tremble with fear” ahead of his retaliation, the government has confirmed it is considering deploying “elements” of the Turkish military against protesters.
“Our police, our security forces are doing their jobs. If it’s not enough then the gendarmes (Interior Ministry run military police) will do their jobs. If that’s not enough we could even use elements of the Turkish Armed Forces,” confirmed Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.
Protests in Istanbul were comparatively less today than they were over the weekend, but police are still firing tear gas around the center of the city, and Erdogan reiterated his plans for retaliation against any hotel owners or shopkeepers that allow the civilian protesters to flee the tear gas into their establishments.
What started as a relatively minor environmental protest has turned into a full-scale revolt by a large number of Turks, with Erdogan constantly making matters worse with wild threats and orders of additional violence. The European Union seems set to scrap accession talks over the violence, while Erdogan simply insists that the EU has “different opinions on freedom” and needs to respect the election that swept his party into office – meaning they need to also respect his decision to wound thousands of protesters.
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