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AMERICAS > Kerry concerned over 'excessive force' in Turkey

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse

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US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday voiced concern over "reports of excessive use of force" by Turkish police in clashes with demonstrators in Ankara. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday voiced concern over "reports of excessive use of force" by Turkish police in clashes with demonstrators in Ankara. AP Photo/Evan Vucci

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday voiced concern over "reports of excessive use of force" by Turkish police in clashes with demonstrators in Ankara and other Turkish cities.

Kerry stressed that the United States supported the right to peaceful protests and said Washington was "deeply concerned about the numbers of people injured," urging all sides to "avoid any provocations or violence." "We are concerned by the reports of excessive use of force by police," Kerry told reporters after talks with his Polish counterpart Radoslaw Sikorski.

"We obviously hope that there will be a full investigation of those incidents and full restraint from the police force with respect to those kinds of incidents." Rights groups say hundreds have been wounded in clashes nationwide that have pitted stone-throwing protesters against riot police firing tear gas and water cannons since Friday.

AFP photographers in Ankara on Monday saw police fire tear gas and use water cannon to disperse stone-throwing demonstrators on the fourth day of violent protests that have swept scores of Turkish cities.

The protests started as a small campaign against the redevelopment of Gezi Park near Taksim Square, a rare green spot in central Istanbul.

But a harsh police response set off a wave of fury directed at the decade-long rule of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turkey is a key regional ally for the United States, and the two countries have been working together closely, particularly over the conflict in neighboring Syria.
 
Washington has made its concerns known to Turkish officials and updated its travel warnings for US citizens.

But Kerry insisted: "We don't say these things to interfere in another country's choices or events, but we say these things to reaffirm what we believe are universal principles and values that are essential to the practice of democracy." He also stressed that despite the upheaval he believed Turkish officials remained fully engaged in trying to resolve the crisis in Syria.

June/03/2013

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ilker avni

6/5/2013 4:02:36 AM

Kerry is concerned about Turkish excessive force,American Hipocracy at its best,why? is he not concerned about the ilegal use of drones that kill innocent Afgans and Pakistanies on a daily bases.

ilker avni

6/5/2013 3:50:17 AM

Kerry should mind his own bussiness and worry about the Obama coruption scandals and the 1% who own 99% of America, tear gas has made in America all over them.

mara mcglothin

6/4/2013 9:27:51 PM

MISTIQUE Just FYI There are only 169 inmates still being held at Guantanamo mainly because the country of their origin will NOT take them back. What would you suggest?

Volkan Vurla

6/4/2013 11:49:43 AM

Kerry called for "full restraint" but cops continue to fire canisters at protester's heads in full view of news cameras. Erdogan's crackdown is playing right into the hands of those who want to replace him with A. Gul. In Washington Erdogan clashed with Obama on all important points. The US now sees him as an Al Qaeda supporter (in Syria) and wants him out. The CIA used the Gulen network to start the protests and Gulenist cops cracked down hard to make them spread nation-wide.

Ozgur Kuzu

6/4/2013 11:08:33 AM

the media across the world is playing this up as if erdogan is slaughtering people its been blown out of proportion everyone is making a big deal the protesters are very few in number the opposition parties and outsiders want to create havoc in turkey the akp is honest and for the people and most important for turkeys future

mara mcglothin

6/3/2013 9:30:49 PM

What a dweeb!

DutchTurk JANICAR

6/3/2013 7:42:47 PM

excessive force, look what happened, police retreated, the so called environmentalists brought 10 times more damage to the environment. With the destroyed capital not small Gezi Park, but the Belgrad Forest of Istanbul could have been build.

Chris Bar

6/3/2013 7:33:33 PM

USA concerned bad news for Turkey. Erdogan is Turkey’s most brilliant politician for more than 5 decades. Trying to give hope in a country struggling to survive from corrupted leaders passively subdued to the west has its cost. American vultures obviously don' t like him.

mistique holland

6/3/2013 7:28:04 PM

This American should rather look at his OWN politics. The one that keeps the hands over Israël and keeps the murdering hands of Israël clean and the ones of Guantanamo bay were thousands are held for over 10 years with no form of law...
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