Erdogan sorry for those hurt by police attacks in early stages of protests
As part of the Turkish-Tunisian Business Forum, 21 agreements were signed between the two countries on Thursday in Tunisia. Speaking at a joint press conference following the forum with his Tunisian counterpart Ali al-Urayyid, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday said that that his government has expressed its sorrow for those hurt by repeated police attacks in the early stages of protests even while vowing to go ahead with his plans to destroy Taksim Gezi Park in Istanbul. Referring to a speech by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on June 4, Erdogan said, "The sensitivities of people for environmental issues have been abused. We already expressed our sorrow for the excessive use of force." However, Erdogan also underlined his dedication to finalize a construction project there, defending the Artillery Barracks project that is set to be built in the park. "Our Taksim project is a plant that unites history and nature. And this project will produce a very beautiful environment in Istanbul," Erdogan said, adding that the government will also build a beautiful and strong opera house, replacing the existing Ataturk Cultural Center in Taksim Square.