EU slams Turkey over handling of protest rallies

The European Union has criticized Turkey for using “excessive force” to quell anti-Ankara protest rallies earlier this year.

“The excessive use of force by police and the overall absence of dialogue during the protests in May/June have raised serious concerns,” said the EU’s executive Commission in an annual report issued on Wednesday.

“This underlines the urgent need for further reforms and the promotioturkey pron of dialogue across the political spectrum, and in society more broadly, as well as for respect of fundamental rights in practice,” added the statement.

The European Commission also said Ankara’s investigations into the handling of anti-government demonstrations must “be followed through in accordance with European standards,” calling on the Turkish government to bring those behind the heavy-handed clampdowns to justice.

Protests against the government of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan swept the country after police broke up a sit-in staged in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against a government plan for the redevelopment of Gezi Park.

The protests soon spiraled into nationwide rallies against the Turkish premier, who branded the protesters as “terrorists” and claimed the demonstrations were part of a plot to topple his government. Erdogan faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis.

According to reports, four people lost their lives and about 7,500 were wounded in just two weeks of clashes with security forces.

On October 2, Amnesty International accused Turkish police of gross human rights violations during anti-government protests which rocked the country in June.

The human rights organization also said, “The Turkish government must learn to tolerate the dissenting opinions expressed through street protests.”

By Press TV


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