After EU criticism towards Turkey. Military repression announced
17 June, 20:25
(ANSAmed) – ANKARA – Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday said he does not recognize the European Parliament, Anadolu news agency reported. This comes after an EU resolution approved last Thursday condemned police brutality in Turkey and criticized the Turkish government’s conduct in dealing with the nationwide protests that have rocked the country for two weeks. ”Does the European Parliament have the right to adopt such a decision on Turkey? I do not recognize this European Parliament”, said the embattled premier, who has been negotiating for adhesion to the EU since 2005. ”I do not recognize any decision taken by the European Parliament on Turkey”, Erdogan had said Thursday. ”The recent days’ events have been a test of our economy and our democracy, and we passed it with flying colors”, he added.
Also on Monday, Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc said the Gezi Park movement is over and threatened protesters with military repression, Hurriyet online daily reported. ”Any ongoing protests are outside the law and will be immediately repressed. Those responsible will be prosecuted”, Hurriyet cited the deputy premier as saying on TV. ”We have the police. If they’re not enough, we have the gendarmes. And if they’re not enough either, we have the army”, Arinc said.
Despite extensive news coverage of demonstrations and violence across Turkey, the country is quite calm and safe, the country’s ambassador to Italy said Monday. Hakki Akil suggested news reporting has been exaggerated to the detriment of his country. “It’s not fair to give wide coverage the situation as if there was a civil war,” Akil said outside an exhibition. The media is also unfairly focusing on demands from a few “marginal” demonstrators who say the Turkish government is undemocratic and must reform, he added. “Democratic standards in Turkey are not inferior to those of the West,” said the ambassador. For almost three weeks, protesters have gathered in Istanbul and other parts of Turkey to demonstrate against the government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who many say has become undemocratic. In response, Erdogan has ordered riot police to crack down on demonstrators, claiming they were being manipulated by “terrorists”, the BBC is reporting. Trade unions have called a strike to protest against the police crackdown on demonstrators which has seen some 500 people arrested. Medical officials estimate that 5,000 people have been injured and at least four killed in the unrest, said the BBC. But ambassador Akil said that he recently visited Istanbul, including Taksim Square, where protests began, “and did not see anything, it was all calm”. “You can safely go in Turkey”. He also defended the widely criticized police response to the protests, saying the use of force has been “proportional”.