A small crowd in Tunisia protested Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan during his visit to the North African country June 6, a foretaste of what might be expecting him after his return to Turkey. Erdoğan was heading to the Turkish-Tunisian business forum as a few people chanted slogans in front of the hall where the meeting was set to take place.
Members holding Çarşı flags, the notorious hardcore fans of Istanbul’s Beşiktaş club, and some Tunisians were also among the crowd. Protesters held banners reading, “The Jasmine Revolution supports the Turkish spring” and, “Choose peace, stop violence.”
Erdoğan told the Turkish media that he would not back down on the demolition of Gezi Park at the heart of Istanbul’s entertainment area, which sparked the protests that spread across the country after the police’s repeated brutal crackdowns on demonstrators. “The sensitivities of people for environmental issues have been abused,” Erdoğan said in a joint press conference with his Tunisian counterpart, Ali al-Urayyid, adding that those who caused damage as part of the Taksim Gezi Park protests were the same as those who had staged the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara last February.