They had come to the capital Ankara to cheer the man who has long been Turkey’s most popular politician. It was the first of two AK party rallies which the prime minister had said were meant to kick off campaigning for local elections next year and not related to the protests.
But the tone and manner was defiant as he pointed an accusing finger at those he believed were responsible for the unrest.
Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: “The judiciary process is underway. There is no point in staying there Gezi Park. I said this before, I don’t know what will be the verdict but if the verdict will be in favour of us, there will be a referendum in Istanbul.”
Erdogan also told his flag waving supporters he will crush his political opponents at elections next year. More immediately on Sunday he will stage a second rally in Istanbul for. How will the city react after the riot police cleared Taksim square?
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