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Majority of Turks disapprove of Erdoğan’s foul language targeting Gezi protestors

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A majority of Turks think it was inappropriate for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to refer to participants of mass anti-government protests in 2013 as “sluts,” according to the results of a public survey.

On the ninth anniversary in June of the Gezi Park protests, the biggest challenge to the rule of then-prime minister Erdoğan, Erdoğan once again attacked the protestors, referring to them as terrorists and sluts and using profanities.

The president attracted widespread criticism for using such words to describe people who were merely exercising their democratic right to protest.

According to the results of the “Turkey’s Pulse” survey conducted by the Metropoll company in June, 83 percent of the Turkish people think it is an insult to refer to people as sluts, while 76.8 percent said they find it inappropriate for Erdoğan to refer to the protestors with such words.

Only 13.8 percent of respondents said calling someone a “slut” is not an insult.

Among the voters of Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), 51.8 percent said it was not right for Erdoğan to use the word “slut”  to describe the protestors.

The survey was conducted across 28 provinces of Turkey with the participation of 2,123 people.

The protests in 2013 erupted over government plans to demolish Gezi Park in the Taksim neighborhood of İstanbul. They quickly turned into mass anti-government demonstrations that were violently suppressed by the government, leading to the death of 11 protestors due to the use of disproportionate force by the police.

Erdoğan, who spoke at a meeting of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) last month, described the Gezi Park protests as the source of many problems Turkey has to deal with now while reiterating an earlier claim that the protestors acted disrespectfully in a mosque in which they took refuge from the police.

“These terrorists [who took refuge] in the Bezmialem Mosque [in the Beşiktaş district of İstanbul] dirtied the mosque with beer bottles. They are rotten to the core, they are sluts,” said Erdoğan.

Erdoğan used the Turkish word “sürtük,” a profanity that could be translated as “slut,” leading to outrage.

Several opposition parties filed criminal complaints against Erdoğan due to his remarks about the Gezi Park protestors.

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