Turkish intelligence is exploring possible connections between foreign actors and protesters in Istanbul’s iconic Taksim Square, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
“Our intelligence work is ongoing. It is not possible to reveal their names. But we will have meetings with their heads,” said Erdoğan.
Erdogan also criticized those in the international community who had criticized the Turkish government for its response to the protests, which are entering their seventh day.
“Those who advise us to be moderate must themselves first come to moderation,” he said.
He blamed the protests on “fringe” elements and said the government would not allow the unrest to turn the current “Turkish Spring” into a Turkish winter.
Erdogan said that per capita income has reached $10,500 during the ruling party’s tenure, and that this had made some “jealous.”
According to Hurriyet Daily News, protests in Taksim Square remained calm over the weekend, but in the same time-frame clashes between police and citizens spread to Beşiktaş, Ankara, İzmir and elsewhere in Turkey.