Turkey summons US ambassador over rally warning

Turkey summons US ambassador over rally warning

Turkey summons US ambassador over rally warning

The Foreign Ministry on May 22 summoned U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake over a warning issued by the embassy for the Republican People’s Party (CHP) rally held in Istanbul.

Ankara’s discomfort at the warning issued before the rally has been conveyed, diplomatic sources said on condition of anonymity.

The ministry expressed our discomfort on the unfounded allegations about the measures taken by the Turkish security units at such rallies, said the sources.

“While the events taking place in the U.S., where the disproportionate use of force by law enforcement officers is a serious problem, are obvious, it is unacceptable to create the impression that there is an important problem in this regard in our country, where political party rallies are a long-established tradition of our democracy,” the Turkish officials told the envoy noting that the rally was held without any problems on May 21.

Ankara also conveyed that it expects the travel/demonstration warnings to be issued by the U.S. authorities to their own citizens in the future, taking into account the facts, said the sources.

The CHP held a rally in Istanbul on May 21 after Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals approved a prison sentence of four years and 11 months issued against Canan Kaftancıoğlu, the party’s head of the Istanbul branch.

The U.S. Embassy to Turkey issued a warning on May 18 for its citizens with regards to security measures to be imposed at the CHP rally.

The Turkish National Police have used measures, including water cannons, tear gas and non-lethal projectiles, to control crowds at protests in the past, the statement said.

“There is a strong possibility similar measures will be employed at this demonstration. Avoid demonstrations and protests as they can be unpredictable and at times become violent,” it added.