Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister in charge of EU affairs, top police officers and Ibrahim Kalin, an advisor to PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Tuesday briefed EU ambassadors on recent unrest and anti-government protests. At the meeting the Turkish officials presented pictures and other material to show how the protests turned violent, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Bagis also talked about how European countries responded to street protests, according to the daily.
However, EU ambassadors told the daily that comparing the Turkish police’s heavy-handed crackdown on peaceful demonstrators to other countries’ police interventions is pointless and not helpful. EU ambassadors also requested transparency and accountability in the investigation into the Turkish police’s harsh crackdown on civilians. Freedom of assembly and free media are essential elements of European values and the ambassadors highlighted that these values have been violated in Turkey, one diplomat told the daily.
On Tuesday, thousands of people gathered in Istanbul’s Taksim Square and in Ankara to protest against the release of a police officer accused of killing of a 26- year old demonstrator on June 1 in Ankara. Prosecutor released the officer on the ground that he acted in self-defence. On Saturday, riot police used water cannon and tear gas to disperse the protestors who gathered in Taksim Square to commemorate four protesters and a policeman killed in earlier protests. On Tuesday, the police did not intervene however there were clashes between the protestors and police in Ankara.
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