‘Don’t be ungrateful,’ Turkish President Erdogan tells protesting workers
Erdogan’s visit to Batman raised hackles when local officials said that they will not attend his rallies
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday told a group of workers demanding better conditions to stop being “ungrateful,” ahead of looming parliamentary elections in June.
The group of subcontracted workers – who are commonly denied benefits such as social security and insurance – were shouting slogans demanding permanent jobs during a speech by Erdogan in the southeastern city of Batman, Istanbul-based newspaper Today’s Zaman reported.
“Don't be ungrateful. You have a job, don't be ungrateful,” Erdogan told the group, adding that “steps would be taken after the elections” on June 7.
Erdogan’s visit to Batman raised hackles when mayors from the predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces said on Friday that they will not attend his rallies, over concerns he would campaign for the ruling AK Party – of which he is a founding leader.
During these tensions, Batman’s mayor refused to welcome him at his arrival, and Erdogan criticized the “filth” of the city’s streets.
Erdogan’s visit to the country’s southeast comes a day after unrest in the country’s largest city of Istanbul, where police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of stone-throwing May Day protesters on Friday, after they defied a ban and tried to march on a large square.
Istanbul police said nearly 140 people had been detained, although activists said the number was nearly double that. The city's governor said 6 police officers and 18 protestors had been injured in clashes, which died out as the afternoon wore on and a clean-up operation got underway.
Critics say President Erdogan and the government have become more authoritarian in the buildup to June elections.
Recent polls say AKP is on course for another election win in June but he may fall short of the massive victory Erdogan is targeting to allow him to change the constitution and bolster his presidential powers.
Putin’s predicament is Erdogan’s good fortuneThe attachment to the foreign conspiracy theory is something Erdogan shares with Vladimir Putin Middle East
Erdogan’s quest to escape from Ataturk’s shadowAs much as the region looks less amenable to Turkish interests, it is internally that the stakes are higher Middle East
Five years in Turkey with President ErdoganYesterday, the Turkish people went to the ballot box to elect Turkey’s first directly elected head of state Middle East
A Turkish presidency would bolster Erdogan’s regional roleErdogan gives inclusionary and moderate messages against radicalism that I believe to have prevailed in the region Middle East
Whatever is the matter with Erdogan?Erodgan is currently running the country focused solely on saving his ailing regime World
I was smeared, persecuted and deported in Erdogan’s Turkey“You’re deported,” one of my colleagues told me. Within hours, the police phoned my editor-in-chief, asking him to hand me over Media
Towards a Turkey with President ErdoganErdogan came to power in a very complex and difficult political environment for Turkey World