Both the Gezi Park protests this summer and the December 17 anti-graft operation were orchestrated to target Turkey's accomplishments and stability in the last decade, Turkey's minister of labor and social security said Thursday Anadolu Agency reported .
Minister Faruk Celik visited Anadolu Agency's (AA) Editor Desk and responded to AA's questions on work and social security issues in Turkey, as well as the latest developments in the anti-graft operation which started on December 17 and witnessed the detentions of a number of senior names, including the sons of three former cabinet ministers, for bribery and corruption charges..
Stressing the similarities between the Gezi Park protests and December 17 operation, Celik said it was ironic to call an operation which has not concluded "the operation of the century."
Celik noted that the direction of Turkey's foreign policy and its accomplishments in domestic policies had discomforted certain groups.
In late May, plans to replace Istanbul's famous Gezi Park with a reconstruction of a historical barracks and allegedly a shopping mall had sparked a series of Istanbul-based protests, which eventually evolved into anti-government protests across Turkey.
- "Social security incomes exceeded expectations"
Concerning Turkey's labor and social security issues, including state-labor relations, Celik said 2013 had been a success.
Celik said Turkey's social security income in 2013 exceeded the figures estimated in the 2013 budget as a result of social security reform. "Revenues generated from social security amounted to 148 billion TL in 2013, seven billion liras more than the projected figure."
"In a period during which the repercussions of the 2008 financial crisis were still being felt globally, Turkey reduced its uneployment," Celik added.
Celik said unregistered employment was a primary factor widening Turkey's social security deficit, despite its reduction from 52 percent to 37 percent between 2008 and 2013.
"When we free ourselves from unregistered employment, we will get rid of our social security deficit," Celik noted.