Popular Protests against Erdogan’s Government Continue, Almost 1,000 Injured
Popular protests against the policies of the Turkish government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which continue for the third day in a row in Ankara, Istanbul and other areas, described the government as being “fascist”.
The protestors stressed that they will not bow to that who believes himself “the new Ottoman wali’ of the Turkish people.
The Turkish police has responded to the peaceful protest by using tear gas and water cannon to disperse the protesters in Istanbul and the capital Ankara, in addition to other areas.
In reaction, some protestors tried to throw stones near Erdogan’s office in Istanbul, while hundreds of protestors ignited fire in Tunali area in Ankara.
Helicopter launched tear gas on the residential neighborhoods, while photos on the Youtube showed an armored police truck hit a protestor.
A protestor in Taksim Square said that “demonstrations are for democracy and they will grow on”.
The protestors expressed anger for the limited converge of the demonstrations by the Turkish TV channels due to the terrifying policy of the Government as dozens of journalists were arrested at Erdogan’s era.
Erdogan Calls Demonstrators “Saboteurs”
Meanwhile, Erdogan lashed out at the demonstrators who took to the streets in protest against his policies as leader of the government of the Justice and Development Party which, according to them, lay the foundations for a new dictatorship.
Speaking during a conference of the Balkan Turks Association today, Erdogan described the protesters as “saboteurs” who want to block the development of Turkey.
Erdogan used the pretext of “military coup d’état” to justify the crackdown on the peaceful protesters, a pretext he previously used to get rid of his opponents by deposing them and putting them in jail and prosecuting them.
He ignored the popular demands for launching public liberties, stopping the “Brotherhoodization” of the Turkish state’s institutions and the resignation of the government, by trying to make believe that the protest was all about opposition to uprooting trees in Taksim Square.
According to media reports, two persons were killed and more than 1000 others were injured because of the use of violence and excessive force by the security forces which receive their orders from Erdogan.
Rescue people told the media that about 1000 people were admitted to hospitals in Istanbul, while hundreds others were injured in Ankara due to clashes with the police.
A large number of protesters were arrested, which was estimated by the Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler at 939 detainees in more than 90 protests.
Amnesty International Criticizes Excessive Force Use by Turkish Police against Protesters
The Amnesty International criticized the use of excessive force by the Turkish police to disperse the popular protests against Erdogan’s government which caused the death of two protesters and the injury of more than 1000 others.
“The Turkish authorities must order police to stop using excessive force against peaceful protesters in Istanbul and immediately investigate alleged abuses,” said Amnesty International.
It noted that excessive force is routinely used by law enforcement officials to disperse protests in Turkey.
However, Europe and Central Asia Director at the organization, John Dalhuisen, said “The use of violence by police on this scale appears designed to deny the right to peaceful protest altogether and to discourage others from taking part.”
The organization talked about the Turkish police officers using water cannon and tear gas for two days “to disperse a peaceful protest against the destruction of Gezi Park in central Istanbul,” stressing that this is unacceptable.
It pointed out that Amnesty activists who were observing the protest were also hit with truncheons and tear gasses.
“The use of tear gas against peaceful protestors and in confined spaces where it may constitute a serious danger to health is unacceptable, breaches international human rights standards and must be stopped immediately,” said Dallhuisen.
“The Turkish authorities must order police to halt any excessive use of force and urgently investigate all reports of abuse. They have a duty to ensure that people can exercise their right to free expression and assembly.
The organization has received several reports about preventing the injured protesters from receiving any medical care and taking them to police stations.
The Amnesty International issued an urgent call upon its activities around the world to take procedures regarding Turkey and called on Erdogan to cease the police’ violence and end all aspects of abuse.
The spark of protests was triggered because of a project to uproot 600 trees from the Gazi Park in Taksim Square in Istanbul in the framework of a plan set by Erdogan government’s to build a shopping centre as part of a large scale regeneration of the area. The Park has always been considered an outlet for the city’s citizens.
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