Turkey Angry At US

Turkish press arrest protesters in continued crackdown

ISTANBUL (Al Jazeera)—Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has contacted US Secretary of State John Kerry to object to recent statements from Washington expressing concern over Turkey’s handling of mass anti-government protests, a foreign ministry diplomat said.

“Turkey is not a second-class democracy,” Davutoglu told Kerry in a phone call late on Tuesday, the diplomat said on condition of anonymity on Wednesday.

Kerry on Monday said he was concerned by reports of excessive use of force by Turkish police to quell the biggest protests since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decade in power, urging all sides to “avoid any provocations or violence.”

Davutoglu assured Kerry an investigation was under way into the police response, the ministry source said.

The diplomat added that the foreign minister told Kerry the protests were not “extraordinary”, comparing them to the Occupy Wall Street movement that sprang up in the United States in 2011.

On Tuesday, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Arinc apologised to those injured after police used tear gas and water cannon against the protesters and said the government had “learnt its lesson”, in comments that were welcomed by the White House.

List of demands
Meanwhile, activists on Wednesday presented a list of demands they said could end days of anti-government demonstrations that have engulfed Turkey, as police detained dozens of people they accused of using social media to stoke the outpouring of anger.

At least 29 people were arrested in the coastal city of Izmir for encouraging rebellion over social media and tweeting “misleading and libellous information”, according to the state-run Anatolia news agency.

In a move to defuse the tension, the deputy prime minister met with a group whose attempt to prevent authorities from ripping up trees in Istanbul’s landmark Taksim Square has snowballed into nationwide protests against what demonstrators see as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasingly authoritarian rule.

Police have deployed water cannons and tear gas has clouded the country’s city centers.

The Ankara-based Human Rights Association says up to 1,000 people have been injured and more than 3,300 people have been detained over five days of protests.

The activist group denounced Erdogan’s “vexing” style and urged the government to halt Taksim Square redevelopment plans, ban the use of tear gas by police, the immediate release of all detained protesters and the lifting of restrictions on freedom of expression and assembly.

It also demanded that officials, including governors and senior police officials, responsible for the violent crackdown be removed from office.

The protests appear to have developed spontaneously and remain leaderless.

It was not at all certain that the tens of thousands of protesters would heed any call by the group to cease.

The group of academics, architects and environmentalists, known as the “Taksim Solidarity Platform,” was formed to protect Taksim Square from development, including the rebuilding of an Ottoman army barracks and a shopping mall.

The protests were sparked by fury over a heavy-handed pre-dawn police raid on Friday to roust activists camping out in an attempt to stop the plans.

Protests appeared to calm a bit by Wednesday afternoon, even as thousands of trade union members on a two-day strike marched to Taksim and to central Ankara.

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8 Comments

  1. Garo Yeghichian said:

    Is no justice in Turkey and will not be for many many years.

  2. GB said:

    Once Turkey run out of American supplied tear gas and pepper spray, then they will start to use liive bullets to shut their intellectual prople mouth!!

  3. Dwite Jackson, Miami Fla said:

    Mr. Foreign Minister of Turkey
    I read about your complaints about U.S., telling us that “Turkey is not a second class Democracy”. You are right, absolutely right. We think Turkey is a third or close to fourth class democracy ( the lowest in rank).
    With all due respect, I was in Istanbul last summer, and I could witness that your country is not even a democracy, as per my conversations in the Hotel and on the streets. I could feel a strong Islamic presence all around me, strict, closed, felt like I was in Iran of 1979.You get it, I speak of my life before retirement. Turkey these days is “The Islamic Republic of Turkey”. Please make it official with consultations with your Prime Minister, a Hijab loving, alcohol hating, Jew hating, Arab hating, Kurds hating, all hating individual. I predict you are next in line after the crowds will take him down in the coming weeks. I am sure you will be doing a better job than your current boss.
    Best of lucks to you, please know what we in U.S. and the world think of your country these days
    Sincerely,
    D. Jackson, Sr.

  4. Alex Postallian said:

    davutugly,is wrong again,turkey has always been a fourth class country.The demonstrations are a culmination of people being bullied,lied to,about their mongol heritage,and the worst crime in history,to determine how about three million Armenians caused a Genocide on 70 million turks,that they were taught in their BIG LIE,school history.What I will never forget the scared eyes of my father.He only spoke Turkish,afraid to speak his native tongue.Armenian is a beautiful language.turkish is a swine rendering course means of communication

  5. Armen Jan said:

    So why should Turks be angry at the US? Possibly because the USA has been enabling the behavior of the Gulenist Islamic leaning Gul, Erdogan and Davutoglu? America needs to stop their support of these extremeist groups and stop political bribes of Turkey in the USA.
    When Erdogan and Arinc were in the USA, they had an agenda. That was to get the USA military to intervine in Syria. They were turned down and went on a USA promotional tour which included Arinc going to the high CIA secured compound of exiled Imam Fethullah Gulen in Saylorsburg, PA the real puppet master of the AKP party with his strings pulled by USA. Next Erdogan went to the projected site of the largest mosque to be built on American soil by the Turkish Government ($100 million project- just outside of Washington DC) Then it was on to the Apple and Google headquarters where Erdogan toured and made a pledge for 10 million IPads for Turkish students under the Gulen education group Fatih – great so they can build a whole nation of cyber hackers.

    Make no mistake about it, the USA enabled the AKP / Gulenists which control media, education, politics, judiciary systems, police and now the military. The AKP got what they wanted, the USA got what they wanted but the average Turkish non-Gulenist doesn’t even get a job unless they are in the cemaat or Imam Ordusu.

    The AKP/Gulenist carry out their plans worldwide and in America. http://www.gulenpoliticians.blogspot.com

  6. Osik said:

    Kerry is too generous to put them in Second-Class, without US influence and cover-ups; both Turkey & Azerbaijan are topnotch Dictatorships.

  7. Garo Yeghichian said:

    If any one expecting any class of democracy from A country like Turkey is terribly mistaken.

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