5 June 2013
Agence Europe

Brussels, 04/06/2013 (Agence Europe) – In reaction to the anti-government protest movement that has been raging in Turkey for the past five days, the S&D Group at the European Parliament deplored, on 4 June, the departure from the country of Prime Minister Recep Tayyin Erdogan to Morocco, where he is to begin an official visit. “I find it unbelievable that Prime Minister Erdogan has left the country while demonstrations and protests are escalating in cities all over Turkey. President Gül should order Mr Erdogan back to Ankara immediately and hold cross-party talks to find a swift solution to end the violence”, said Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group leader.

The European United Left (GUE/NGL) also condemned the methods used by the Erdogan government, calling for an “immediate end to the violence”. GUE/NGL President Gabi Zimmer condemned the “state violence of the Turkish government against the demonstrators”, saying the government must “stop its authoritarian style of governing and hold talks with the protesters to avoid an escalation of the violence and further victims”. He went on to say that “Erdogan's actions are creating a dangerous division in Turkish society”.

The leader of the Liberals (ALDE), Guy Verhofstadt of Belgium, spoke of the right to peaceful demonstration and regretted that, in Turkey – which has “been held upheld many times over the past decade as a model for moderate Islamic democracy” – “a number of recent laws and acts have been perceived as anti-secular and undermined the reputation of the governing AKP party”. (OL/transl.jl)

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