Syrian Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi says Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is “terrorizing" his own people, calling on the premier to resign his post. "Erdogan is leading his country in a terrorist way, destroying the civilization and achievements of the Turkish people," the Syrian information minister said on Saturday. The remarks came after police forces clashed with crowds of anti-government protesters in the Turkish city of Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, using tear gas and water cannons to disperse the protesters. Thousands of people also took to the streets in other cities, including the capital Ankara, Izmir, Mugla, and Antalya in support of the protesters in Istanbul. The demonstrators also called on Erdogan to step down as prime minister.
"The fact that he suppresses peaceful demonstrations proves that Erdogan is disconnected from reality," Zohbi added, calling on the Turkish premier to step down.The anti-government protests started out as demonstrations against Ankara's plans to demolish a popular park and build a shopping center. The protesters say Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and protests as well as a popular tourist destination, is the city's last public green space. "We wish the Turkish people only stability and calm, and urge that Erdogan act wisely and not treat the Turks the way he has treated the Syrians," the Syrian minister concluded. Turkey has been among the harshest critics of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has supported the foreign-backed militants fighting to topple his government. SZH/SS