US embassy deletes Twitter response to Turkish PM but maintains stance
ANKARA – Hürriyet Daily News
Protesters in İzmir put a banner on the memory of Abdullah Cömert, who died last week during a police crackdown in antakya after a tear gas canister exploded as it hit his head. Thre protesters and one police officer have died, more than 4,000 thousand people have been injured during the Turkey-wide protests. DHA photo
The U.S. Embassy in Ankara deleted today statements published on its official Twitter account June 7 that dismissed the Turkish prime minister’s claims that police had killed 17 people in suppressing the Occupy Wall Street protests.
“Those who try to lecture us [about the crackdown in Taksim Gezi Park], what did they do about the Wall Street incidents? Tear gas, the death of 17 people happened there. What was the reaction?” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said during at a European Union Ministry conference in Istanbul on June 7.
The U.S. embassy released a statement in English and Turkish via Twitter only an hour later, saying: “Reports related to the U.S. Occupy Wall Street movement are inaccurate. No U.S. deaths resulted from police actions in #OWS.”
Both statements were not visible today on the embassy’s @USEmbassyTurkey account. Embassy officials confirmed to the Hürriyet Daily News that the tweets had been deleted but added that they “did not change their minds” despite deleting the statements, reiterating that no activist had been killed following the police crackdown during the Occupy Wall Street protests.
The initial sit-in protests against the demolition of Gezi Park spread last week to the whole country in reaction to brutal police crackdowns against demonstrators. The small-scale protests quickly turned into bigger anti-government rallies, with demonstrators settling into Gezi Park in the heart of Istanbul, just like the Occupy protesters in the U.S.