US and EU concerned by violent police raid against Taksim Gezi Park protesters
WASHINGTON / BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
U.S. State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki and the European Commissioner for enlargement Stefan Füle’s spokesperson have both called for the right to freedom of assembly to be observed. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah Gürel
The United States State Department and the European Union expressed their concern May 31, following the brutal police raids on demonstrators protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park in the heart of Istanbul.
U.S. State Department Spokesman Jen Psaki said Washington was concerned about the number of injured in the police raids, emphasizing the respect for the rights of the protesters.
“We believe that Turkey’s long-term stability, security and prosperity can be guaranteed with the protection of the fundamental freedoms. That’s what the [protesters] seemed to be doing. These freedoms are very important in a healthy democracy,” Psaski said, adding that they had seen Amnesty International’s report condemning police’s violence.
Psaki also noted that the crackdown of the police forces armed with tear gas and water cannons happened in one of the most touristic places where many of the biggest hotels are located, indirectly warning that a travel advisory for U.S. citizens could be issued. “We will follow regularly the latest developments,” he said.
Meanwhile, the European Commissioner for enlargement Stefan Füle’s spokesperson Peter Stano also stressed that the freedom of assembly should be protected. “The European Commission is concerned about the recurring clashes between police and demonstrators in Istanbul. We condemn all excessive and disproportionate use of force,” Stano said in a statement. Füle will raise the issue during his meeting with Turkish Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin in Istanbul next week, Stano added.