Van Bommel: ‘Violence against Turkish demonstrators is unacceptable’

4 June 2013

Van Bommel: ‘Violence against Turkish demonstrators is unacceptable’

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel is calling on Minister for Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans to call Turkey to account over the excessive violence used against demonstrators and to urge restraint. ‘Human rights organisations are right to criticise the extraordinary levels of violence that followed the huge, overwhelmingly peaceful demonstrations which have taken place in Turkey,’ says Van Bommel. ‘It is of enormous importance that the Netherlands make its concerns over this known.’

Harry van BommelDuring the last few days enormous demonstrations have been taking place in many Turkish cities, including Istanbul, against the policies of the Erdogan government. Media reports indicate that during these protests more than 1,700 people have been arrested, hundreds wounded and at least two killed. Today also it is expected that further demonstrations will occur.

‘There has quite rightly a great deal of criticism expressed of the actions of the Turkish authorities against the demonstrators,’ says Van Bommel. ‘The United States has stated that peaceful demonstrations are part and parcel of a democracy and that Turkey’s stability will in the long term best be served by maintaining the fundamental freedom to express one’s opinions, the freedom to assemble and the freedom to associate. It’s important that as many countries as possible send this message to Turkey, and this includes the Netherlands.’

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