Gul pays domestic visit to Rize
During his domestic visit to the northeastern province of Rize on Wednesday, President Abdullah Gul responded to questions from the press regarding the ongoing Gezi Park events. Underscoring that Turkey is an open society, Gul said, "We have courts and people can take litigation to the Higher Court of Appeal when they are not satisfied with the verdicts of the lower courts. Turkey has recognized the European Court of Human Rights. I would like to call on the international community not to liken the incidents in Turkey to those occurring in the Middle East and North Africa. This is all wrong. The peoples of these countries staged uprisings for such values as democracy, pluralism, the multi-party system and freedom of speech. In Turkey, in contrast, one cannot see such demands at all as people already enjoy these values." Stating that every idea can be uttered and every demonstration, which is a democratic right, can be held unless they trigger violence, Gul said, "On the other hand, when demonstrations include violence especially occurring in key points and areas like Taksim Square in Istanbul and Kizilay Square in Ankara in a way that violates the established rules and the relevant laws as well as the rights of others, one cannot accept these demonstrations as rights at all."