Swoboda slams Erdoğan for divisive rhetoric and continued violence against demonstrators

Following a brief interruption in the violent clashes between demonstrators and police in Istanbul and across Turkey, the protesters‘ makeshift camps near Taksim Square were brutally dismantled and demonstrators chased away with tear gas and water cannons.

Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, condemned Prime Minister Erdoğan’s reaction to the protests:

„Mr Erdoğan has said that he refuses to recognise the European Parliament and he refuses to recognise those who protest against him, his government and his policies. Ignoring the European Parliament can only mean he does not want Turkey to become a member of the European Union.

„Ignoring the voices of his people means that he is failing as a head of government. It should be his job to bring people together and not to divide them further.

„The Socialists and Democrats Group condemn in the strongest terms the renewed police violence Erdoğan has ordered in Taksim Square. Again we ask him to act as a statesman and not just as a party political leader.“