EU foreign chief calls for engagement of officials, end of violence over protests
BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
A handout photo provided by European Commission, shows EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton attending a EU-Russia summit in the industrial Ural Mountains city of Yekaterinburg, on June 4. AFP PHOTO / EUROPEAN COMMISSIONEuropean Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton called on June 9 for an end to violence and for reports of police abuses to be properly investigated regarding the police crackdown on demonstrations across Turkey in solidarity with Taksim Gezi Park.
"It is essential that all violence stops and that all cases of excessive use of force by the police are recognized as such and investigated promptly, and that those responsible are held fully accountable," Ashton said in a statement. "I continue to be concerned by the situation in Turkey and to follow developments very closely," she said, expressing her sympathies and condolences for the victims and injured.
Ashton said also urged the Turkish government to show more engagement on avoiding the escalation of the events. "The continuing tensions underline the need for restraint on all sides and the importance of finding a quick solution based on dialogue, mutual respect, understanding and inclusiveness. Open and sustained engagement of the authorities is essential to reinforcing democracy, building confidence and avoiding escalation," she said, adding that Turkey should stay committed to the Copenhagen Criteria, including the guarantee of individual freedoms.
'Social media should not be under pressure'
Ashton also said social media users should not be targeted for their activities. "Social media must not come under arbitrary pressure." She added that limitations should comply with the limits determined by the European Court of Human Rights.
Nearly 40 people were arrested last week in İzmir and Adana as police accused them of "inciting riots and conducting propaganda."