Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Turkish ambassador to Italy says media exaggerating protests

English
© ANSA

Rome, June 17 - Despite extensive news coverage of
demonstrations and violence across Turkey, the country is quite
calm and safe, Turkey's ambassador to Italy said Monday.
Hakki Akil suggested news reporting has been exaggerated to
the detriment of his country.
"It's not fair to give wide coverage to the situation as if
there was a civil war," Akil said outside an exhibition.
The media is also unfairly focusing on demands from a few
"marginal" demonstrators who say the Turkish government is
undemocratic and must reform, he added.
"Democratic standards in Turkey are not inferior to those
of the West," said the ambassador.
For almost three weeks, protesters have gathered in
Istanbul and other parts of Turkey to demonstrate against the
government and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who many say
has become undemocratic.
In response, Erdogan has ordered riot police to crack down
on demonstrators, claiming they were being manipulated by
"terrorists", the BBC is reporting.
Trade unions have called a strike to protest against the
police crackdown on demonstrators which has seen some 500 people
arrested.
Medical officials estimate that 5,000 people have been
injured and at least four killed in the unrest, said the BBC.
But Ambassador Akil said that he recently visited Istanbul,
including Taksim Square, where protests began, "and did not see
anything, it was all calm".
"You can safely go in Turkey".
He also defended the widely criticized police response to
the protests, saying the use of force has been "proportional".

(photo: a giant portrait of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
unveiled at a pro-government rally over the weekend)

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