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EU: Turkish Police Should Avoid Excessive Force

  • VOA News

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, right, talks with EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele, Istanbul Conference of the Ministry For EU Affairs, Istanbul, June 7, 2013.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, right, talks with EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele, Istanbul Conference of the Ministry For EU Affairs, Istanbul, June 7, 2013.

The European Union has told Turkey use of excessive police force has no place in a democracy, following a week of protests that have sparked clashes between police and anti-government demonstrators.

EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fuele made those remarks Friday at a conference in Istanbul attended by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

During the protests, police have used tear gas and water cannons on demonstrators. At least two people have been killed, thousands hurt, and thousands of others arrested.

The government has apologized for the use of force.

Earlier Friday, Erdogan demanded the anti-government protests end immediately and said they border on illegality. He spoke at Istanbul's airport to thousands of his supporters as they welcomed him back from a trip to North Africa.

"We can't allow anyone to behave in an unlawful way in this country, to destroy by vandalizing, to destroy cities and private property and hurt our people."

Protesters marched again Thursday in Istanbul and Ankara, demanding Erdogan's resignation. They accuse him of imposing his conservative Islamic views on a secular nation.

Protests were sparked last week by government plans to tear down a public park in Istanbul for new construction. Erdogan has so far refused to scrap those plans.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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