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Chomsky Condemns Turkish Crack Down

By Countercurrents.org

02 June, 2013

Outspoken American linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky has condemned the brutal police crackdown on the Turkish protesters denouncing the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park , saying it recalled "the most shameful moments of Turkish history." An Istanbul datelined Hurriyet report [1] informed the philosopher's reaction.

In a written statement on June 1, 2013 Chomsky said: "I would like to join Amnesty International and others who defend basic human rights in condemning the brutal measures of the state authorities in response to the peaceful protests in Taksim in Central Istanbul ."

"The reports of the past few days are reminiscent of some of the most shameful moments of Turkish history, which, it seemed, had been relegated to the past during the progress of the past years that has been welcomed and praised by all of us who wish the best for Turkey and its people," he added.

Halt brutal police action: Amnesty

Another Istanbul datelined report [2] said:

Amnesty International has called on the Turkish authorities to immediately halt the brutal police repression adding that the use of tear gas against demonstrators was a violation of human rights.

In a statement on May 31, 2013 John Dalhuisen, the Director of Europe and Central Asia Program at Amnesty International, said:

"The use of tear gas against peaceful protesters and in confined spaces where it may constitute a serious danger to health is unacceptable, breaches international human rights standards and must be stopped immediately," said Dalhuisen.

"The use of violence by police on this scale appears designed to deny the right to peaceful protest altogether and to discourage others from taking part," he added.

Quoting activist who observed that some protesters were hit with truncheons, AI also urged a transparent investigation on the police intervention.

Turkish media reaction

In Hurriyet, the pro-secular English-language daily, Murat Yetkin observed: The "disproportionate" response of police to the protests "has managed to turn a pacifist and modest protest into a public protest movement".

In Yeni Safak, the pro-government Islamist daily, Ali Bayramoglu asks how the authorities allowed the situation to get so bad. "If there is a public reaction, why won't it [the government] halt the project, even temporarily, and talk to the protestors?"

In Today's Zaman, an Islamist daily, Ihsan Yilmaz says if the government does not listen to the protesters the park issue "may be the last straw and may pave the way for the eventual electoral loss of the city".


[1] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/gezi-park-crackdown-recalls-most-shameful-moments-of-turkish-history-says-chomsky.aspx?pageID=238&nID=48018&NewsCatID=341

[2] http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/use-of-tear-gas-against-peaceful-protesters-a-violation-of-human-rights-amnesty.aspx?pageID=238&nID=48016&NewsCatID=339






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