Turkish president says protests at Istanbul's Bogazici University will not become another Gezi Park incident.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after performing Friday prayer at Hazrat Ali Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on February 5, 2021.
President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks to the press after performing Friday prayer at Hazrat Ali Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on February 5, 2021. (AA)

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has strongly criticised the US and France over their statements about the protest at Istanbul's Bogazici University.

"What does America or the European Union say? 'We condemn what happened at Bogazici University.' Well, I'm saying this to the US: 'In the name of democracy, do you not feel any shame over the events that took place in America shortly before elections?'," Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayer.

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Bogazici protests

The protests erupted in Istanbul against the recent appointment of Bogazici University's new rector, Melih Bulu, with a group of students calling for his resignation.

Demonstrations intensified when two Bogazici University students were remanded in custody by a Turkish court for displaying a painting allegedly offensive to Islamic values on university grounds.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said on Tuesday nearly 80 of those recently arrested amid ongoing protests are members of far-left terror groups, including the DHKP/C and TKP-ML.

Recalling incidents in the US prior to the presidential elections, Erdogan said, "Remember how everyone threatened each other during the events there; how racism was at the highest; how the cops killed your Black citizens. How would you explain that to the world?"

Erdogan also slammed French President Emmanuel Macron over his comments on protests at Bogazici University.

"Macron, you deal with the matter of those yellow vests first. Currently, all those yellow vests, citizens are on the streets. You can't deal with this; you should sort this out first."

Gezi Park protests

He said the opposition groups are going all out to complicate matters, however, these university protests will not culminate into something similar to Gezi Park incidents.

"This matter will not become another Gezi Park protest. That's why all of our law enforcement agencies take necessary steps with determination."

In the summer of 2013, demonstrations in Istanbul’s Gezi Park grew into a nationwide wave of protests which left eight protesters and a police officer dead.

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FETO links

The government later said the protests were orchestrated by FETO  members, who had infiltrated the police and judiciary.

FETO and its US-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people dead and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey says FETO is behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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Source: AA