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210 words - June 13, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
"The people I have seen there are not looters; they are children of Turkey calling for peace, freedom and respect, simply aspiring to speak up and to be listened to," said European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, at a European Parliament's debate on June 12.
These children are the secular "Young Turk" who have spontaneously demonstrated their disagreement with the pro-Islamist government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Istanbul's Taksim Square since June 1. On June 11, police forces evacuated the Square by force, and riots between them and the demonstrators wounded 5,000 and killed 4 people so far. "We have seen too many examples of excessive police force over the past two weeks - close range use of tear gas, water cannons, pepper spray, plastic bullets - against protestors who have been overwhelmingly peaceful," EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton commented.
Consequently, "we are at a crucial moment in European Union-Turkey relations," warned Mr. Fule. And now it seems that Turkey's accession to the EU has never seemed so distant. To the point that Former White House Middle East Adviser Ambassador Marc Ginsberg asked: Is Taksim another Tinananmen?
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