US calls for investigation into police violence after another day of violence in Turkey
The US has called for an investigation into police violence in Turkey as nationwide protests against the rule of prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan continue to rage on.
John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, stated: “We are concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police. We obviously hope that there will be a full investigation of those incidents and full restraint from the police force.” The US has been urging restraint on both sides during the protests.
The protest is said to have snowballed over the course of just a few days, with violent incidents occurring in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir due to clashes between police and protesters. Although the protesting was said to have begun as a small demonstration in Istanbul against redevelopment plans, it has now turned into a much larger conflict after police were reported to have used water cannon and tear gas attacks on civilians who were protesting peacefully.
Erdogan is alleged to have warned against these protests in an uncompromising manner and dismissed the mass demonstrations, causing criticism. Referring to the national vote in the 2011, elections in which his Justice and Development party secured just over half of the vote, he said: “there is 50 per cent and we can barely keep them at home. But we have called on them to calm down”.
The prime minister’s dismissive attitude towards the mass demonstrations is a stark contrast to that expressed by president Abdullah Gul, who seemed to deliberately go against the message expressed by Mr Erdogan. President Gul stated: “Democracy does not mean elections alone: There can be nothing more natural for the expression of various views, various situations and objections through a variety of ways, besides elections.”