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Turkish protesters are 'alcoholics', says Egyptian Islamist leader

Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya leader brands Turkish anti-government protests an 'uprising of alcoholics'; says PM Erdogan is Islamist role model

Ahram Online, Monday 3 Jun 2013
Alaa Abu El-Nasr
Secretary general of the Building and Development party Alaa Abu El-Nasr (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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The protest movement in Turkey is an "uprising of alcoholics," a leader of Al-Gamaa Al-Islamiya has claimed. 

Alaa Abul-Nasr, who is a leader of the group's political wing, the Building and Development Party, went on to say Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is a role model for Egyptian Islamists during an interview on Rotana Masriya TV channel on Sunday.

Protests against government plans to tear down trees in Istanbul's Taksim Square turned violent on Friday after a police crackdown.

Tighter restrictions on alcohol sales and warnings against public displays of affection have provoked protests by activists who accuse Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) of trying to turn secular-oriented Turkey into a more conservative country.

At least a thousand people have been injured during four days of clashes and more than 1700 arrested.

Erdogan’s popularity soared in 2011 when Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador after Tel Aviv refused to apologise for its raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Gaza-bound flotilla. During the raid, eight Turks and an American of Turkish descent were killed.

Erdogan was granted a hero's reception on his arrival in Egypt in September 2011. Many of his most vocal supporters where members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, on 16 May 2013 US President Barack Obama stated that negotiations were ongoing between him and Erdogan over normalising relations with Israel.

Obama’s statement came after Israeli and Turkish officials began discussing compensation for the flotilla victims in April.

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