International Community Must Intervene to End Violence in Turkey

Press Release
June 12, 2013

International Community Must Intervene to End Violence in Turkey

Contact: Sharon Singh, ssingh@aiusa.org, 202-675-8579, @AIUSAmedia

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Amnesty International continues to closely monitor violence in Turkey, urging the international community to intervene to prevent tensions from further escalating between Turkish authorities and protesters. The rights group is particularly concerned that comments made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will only lead to more unnecessary violence and bloodshed.

The Turkish prime minister previously said that he would show no more tolerance toward protesters, adding today that the government has "not responded to punches with punches. From now on security forces will respond differently." He also warned citizens that Turkey’s security forces would end the demonstrations that have shaken the country these past two weeks within the next 24 hours.

Andrew Gardner, a Turkey researcher at Amnesty International who is currently in Istanbul, responded: "Prime Minister Erdogan’s outrageous statement is nothing short of a provocation, only likely to lead to more violence and more injured protesters, particularly as fresh demonstrations are planned this evening in Taksim Square and elsewhere."

"It is high time for the international community, and in particular EU countries, to intervene by urging the Turkish government to enter into a meaningful dialogue with the protesters in order to de-escalate the situation and bring an end to the appalling levels of violence we have witnessed in the last two weeks," Gardner continued.

Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth, and dignity are denied.