Speaking to reporters in Ankara on Monday, President Abdullah Gül stated that the well-intentioned message from the Ankara and Istanbul protests has been received and called on the public to calm down.
Underscoring that Turkey is a country which has a well-functioning democracy, President Gül said that in Turkey, people have every right to take litigations to the Court of Appeals if they have any objections to the verdicts given by lower courts, so he stressed there are ways for people to object, pointing to the fact that Turkey believes in the supremacy of law and the rule of law. Turkey has a system as per the Western standards of democracy, he emphasized. All views and opinions no matter how different they are from one another are respected in Turkey, declared the President. "This should be the case in a free country. Everyone should respect each other's beliefs and views as we do in Turkey."
President Gül continued as follows: "Democracy does not mean simply elections. It is natural for people to reveal their objections or different views through different means such as demonstrations. Therefore, I consider the recent incidents in our country to be part of this fact. The state has got the well-intended message."
Calling on everyone to act responsibly, President Gül pointed out that criminal organizations can get involved in such social events, turning these events into unwanted incidents and wrongdoings. "I am calling on our citizens to act with common sense. Everyone should conform to the rules and express their objections in peaceful ways, using peaceful means. We should not allow any actions that could spoil our image in the world."