Thursday, June 13, 2013

[Turkish Government Giving “final warning” To Protesters]

As clashes between protesters and police continue in Istanbul, the Turkish Prime Minister has issued a “final warning” to protesters in Gezi Park.

"Our patience is at an end. I am making my warning for the last time," said Prime Minister Erdogan the day after he promised to end protests “in 24 hours”.   
“We cannot allow troublemakers to hang around freely in this square. We will clean the square,'' he told local party leaders. 

However, the Prime Minister's words served only to aggravate protesters, who were defiant, and met his deadline with extreme resistance. Overnight riots ended up with police firing tear gas and water cannons in an attempt to disperse some 2,500 protesters, as they tried to erect barricades on a road that led to government offices. 

On Thursday morning police arrested 42 people in Istanbul who were peacefully marching around the park. Meanwhile, by the 14th day of bloody protests five people are confirmed dead, and there have been more than 5,000 injured. 

The atmosphere is getting more and more hostile, as protesters express fears that a "witch hunt" will soon be underway.  And with Prime Minister Erdogan not elaborating on the exact meaning of “final warning”, the people of Istanbul are left to wonder what lies in store for them during this time of extreme instability.

The actions taken by police over these last few weeks have led the Interior Ministry to order a probe into what the EU Parliament has called “the disproportionate and excessive use of force” by police. These claims from the EU Parliament seem to be confirmed by the violent images and videos coming out of Istanbul.

"Our inspectors in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and other cities have launched an investigation so no one should worry about that," Interior Minister Muammer Guler said Thursday.

One can only hope that a fair and balanced appraisal of the situation will lead to proper action being taken, but with a great gap appearing between the people of Istanbul and their leadership, it seems rather unlikely at the moment.

The members of the European Parliament have expressed their concern over the situation in Turkey. As members of the European Parliament are expected to vote on a resolution setting out their position, Prime Minister Erdogan slammed the EU Parliament, saying he will not “recognize the decision.”

 “I won't recognize the decision that the European Union Parliament is going to take about us ... Who do you think you are by taking such a decision?”

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