Merkel 'appalled' by Turkey's response to protests

By REUTERS
June 17, 2013 14:28

 
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BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday she was shocked at Turkey's tough response to anti-government protests but she stopped short of demanding that the European Union call off accession talks with the candidate country.

"I'm appalled, like many others," Merkel said of Turkey's handling of two weeks of unrest that began over a redevelopment project in an Istanbul park but has grown into broader protest against Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.

"I would like to see those who have criticism, who have a different opinion and a different idea of society, having some space in a Turkey that moves into the 21st century," Merkel told German broadcaster RTL.

Asked whether Ankara's response to the protests was in line with the way an EU accession candidate should act, Merkel said: "What's happening in Turkey at the moment is not in line with our idea of the freedom to demonstrate or freedom of speech."

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