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POLITICS > Turkish FM responds to Kerry over US criticism of protest crackdown

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Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recalled the protests on Wall Street in the U.S. He said such incidents were regarded as ordinary elsewhere, but extraordinary in Turkey. REUTERS photo

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu recalled the protests on Wall Street in the U.S. He said such incidents were regarded as ordinary elsewhere, but extraordinary in Turkey. REUTERS photo

Sevil Erkuş Sevil Erkuş sevil.kucukkosum@hdn.com.tr

The Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has reproached his U.S. counterpart over four different statements that have come from Washington criticizing the police crackdown on Turkish protesters.

“These sorts of incidents happen everywhere and they are considered unexceptional. Then why are they regarded extraordinary when happening in Turkey?” Davutoğlu said in response to statements from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Following the fourth statement from Washington since last week, most recently on Tuesday from Vice President Joe Biden urging Turkey’s government to respect the rights of its political opponents, the Turkish foreign minister called his U.S. counterpart by phone on Tuesday to respond to criticism of the police's violent crackdown against anti-government protesters.

“There is not a second class democracy in Turkey,” he said.

“In democracies, these protests may happen. There is a right to demonstrations in Turkey. We respect peaceful demonstrators, but there are also ones who abuse,” Davutoğlu told Kerry, citing those harming public property, according to the diplomat.

The minister recalled the protests on Wall Street in the U.S and said similar incidents were regarded as ordinary, but the ones in Turkey were considered extraordinary.

Meanwhile, U.S. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said that both ministers had a very positive relationship; however the U.S. State of Secretary could not remain indifferent when there were serious concerns.

Kerry did not attempt to categorize Turkey, Psaki said, adding that the support of officials for the peaceful protests would help to appease the situation.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he hoped the Turkish government could “find a solution to the problems, which are not easy, set forth by opposition and civic society.”

Those protests would be discussed on legitimate platforms in such a way that people would hear each other, said Putin.

June/05/2013

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