JEF-Europe condemns use of excessive force against peaceful protestors in Turkey

, by JEF Secretariat

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JEF-Europe condemns use of excessive force against peaceful protestors in Turkey

Regardless of political affiliations and motives, the Young European Federalists strongly condemn all excessive use of police force and tear gas during peaceful demonstrations, as we have been witnessing in Istanbul, Ankara, and dozens of other cities all over Turkey during the last days. What started as a small-scale protest for the conservation of a green area in the city center of Istanbul, has now escalated to a nation-wide call for change by people cut across ideological, religious and class lines against the increasingly authoritarian rule of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (AKP - Justice and Development Party).

JEF-Europe condemns every restriction to fundamental rights, starting from the Constitutional right to manifest the dissent as guaranteed by Turkish Constitution and by European Convention on Human Rights, signed by Turkish Government. JEF-Europe calls on the Turkish authorities to carry out an independent and impartial investigation into the excessive and disproportionate use of force and to ensure protesters’ rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression and all other fundamental freedoms in line with the values of the EU.

Furthermore JEF-Europe denounces the silence of the Turkish mainstream media, which was not covering the events from the beginning. “Free media is a pre-requisite for a functioning democracy in which all voices are heard. It cannot be that those not supporting the ruling majority are being silenced, or even worse depicted as ’marginals running wild’ as PM Erdoğan called the protesters” stresses Pauline Gessant, President of JEF-Europe.

“We express our solidarity to peaceful protesters and firmly condemn every violent reaction by police forces. JEF-Europe will always speak up for an open society based on respect for fundamental rights and full political rights in Europe and worldwide” concludes Pauline Gessant.

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