Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said there were “terrorist activities” in Paris, referring to protestors who clashed with French police, and accused international media of not broadcasting the incidents, unlike what they did during the 2013 Gezi Park protests in Turkey.
“During Gezi events international media continuously presented Taksim [Gezi Park], didn’t they? Right now there are terrorist activities in Paris. Is there a word about it in the international media? No! The world is quiet, nobody sees Paris,” Erdoğan said at a symposium in İstanbul.
Last weekend French police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse protesters, in a second weekend of demonstrations sparked by rising fuel prices, according to the BBC.
About 5,000 protesters had converged on the Champs Elysées. Dozens of people were arrested after clashing with police.
Organizers of the “yellow vest” movement billed the latest protests as “act two” in their rolling campaign.
Named after their distinctive high-visibility attire, the protesters oppose an increase in duties on diesel.
“We invite world leaders to take a principled and results-oriented stand against terrorism,” Erdoğan said.
He considered the Gezi Park protests of June 2013 to be terrorist activities, accusing Hungarian-American businessman George Soros of financially supporting the protests.
Turkish activist and businessman Osman Kavala has been in jail for more than a year on charges of being a financier of the protests.
Hundreds of thousands of people gathered around Gezi Park in June 2013, opposing then-Prime Minister Erdoğan’s plans to resurrect a historic building and build a shopping mall after destroying the park.
The protests later turned into a countrywide wave against the Erdoğan government.