Prime Minister Erdoğan: “Flag Move a ‘Two Way Conspiracy,’
Photo: Hülya Karahan
A masked protester took down the Turkish flag from inside a military compound during protests following the deaths of two men during clashes with police in Lice district.
The investigation has been launched to determine the identity of the masked protester who pulled down the flag, the prosecutor’s office said.
Leaders condemn pulling down of Turkish flag
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has described the removal of a Turkish flag from a mast inside an Air Force base in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır on June 9 as an attempt to “stir up trouble across the country,” while criticizing the military for allowing the act to be carried out.
“If that traitor was shot, they would have stirred up trouble in the east. He was not shot, so now they are trying to stir up trouble in the north, south and west,” said Erdoğan on June 10 during his weekly address to his party’s parliamentary group in Ankara.
He also accused a host of opposition forces – from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the movement of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen to the outlawedKurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (BDP) – of seeking political benefit from what he described as a “planned action.”
“The scenario is clear. If that pawn had been shot, the terrorist organization and the HDP would provoke the masses. If he succeeded in carrying out this vile act, you know that the removal of the flag would be used as an opportunity by the MHP, the CHP and the media. The traitor was not neutralized and the removal of the flag is now being used as an instrument of hate,” Erdoğan said.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul has strongly condemned the pulling down of Turkish national flag at an air force command in southeastern Turkey.
“I would like to clearly stress that this and similar heinous attacks and provocations will never reach their aims,” President Gul said in a written statement on Monday.
The office of Turkey’s military chief Necdet Ozel strongly condemned the attack, calling it a “provocative attempt to pave the way for civilian deaths and insurgency.”
Turkey’s southeastern region has recently been tense after two protesters were killed during an illegal protest against the construction of a military outpost in the southeastern Lice district of Diyarbakir on Saturday.
The two men died after security forces intervened in the demonstration held by a pro-Kurdish group who attempted to block the road between Diyarbakir and Bingol provinces, hurling hand-made grenades and stones at security forces aiming at fuelling further protests amongst the Kurdish people.