- Title: BELGIUM: Hundreds rally in Brussels in support of Turkey's protesters
- Date: 2nd June 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (JUNE 01, 2013) (REUTERS) EUROPEAN UNION FLAG ON E.U. PARLIAMENT BUILDING PROTESTERS CHANTING AND HOLDING VARIOUS FLAGS, INCLUDING THE TURKISH FLAG PROTESTER HOLDING SIGN, READING (French and English): "[Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip] Erdogan, resign, we want to get our democracy back" PROTESTERS CHANTING, HOLDING SIGNS, FLAGS AND A BANNER PROTESTERS CHANTING GIRL HOLDING SIGN, READING (English): "Right now police is violently attacking citizens in Istanbul" BELGIAN POLITICIAN AND PROTEST ORGANISER BULDUK DERYA (SOUNDBITE) (French) BELGIAN POLITICIAN AND PROTEST ORGANIZER, BULDUK DERYA, SAYING: "We are here on Luxembourg square, in Brussels, in Belgium, to deplore the events that are now occurring in Turkey. Unfortunately they start having a domino effect. We deplore the way the insurrection has been treated. The police is playing an important power game. We cannot accept this, as the path to democracy cannot repress people in such a way." MORE PROTESTERS ARRIVING, CARRYING FLAGS AND SIGNS PROTESTER CLAPPING AND HOLDING FLAGS REPRESENTING FORMER TURKISH PRESIDENT MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK GROUP OF PROTESTERS ARRIVING, CHANTING PROTESTERS CARRYING SIGNS, RIGHT SIGN READING (Turkish) : "Hello, Taksim. The Resistance goes on" WOMAN WEARING JERSEY REPRESENTING FORMER TURKISH PRESIDENT MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATURK PROTESTERS HOLDING VARIOUS FLAGS PROTESTER CHANTING SIGN READING (English): "The people of the world hear the voice of the people in Turkey." PROTESTER CHANTING PROTESTERS WAVING TURKISH FLAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER ATIL ATLAS, SAYING: "We would like to get rid of this government first and get more freedom, freedom of speech. And in the end of it, we would like to get better government with Ataturk ideas, which in the past has been established." CAMERAMAN FILMING (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROTESTER SELEN PARMAN, SAYING: "The Internet connection [is] completely shut down, people are not able to tweet or use social media. And the local media in Turkey, there are giving like competition programmes and stupid shows all the time, 24/7, but you can't see any news." PROTESTERS' FLAGS POLICE CAR NEAR PROTEST LOCATION
- Embargoed: 17th June 2013 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4FUXQEVYST9B4TY7PLIV1R8DG
- Story Text: Several hundreds of protesters in Brussels on Saturday (June 1) gathered in front of the European Parliament and called for the resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
The protest took place a few hours after Erdogan made a defiant call for an end to the fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years, as thousands of protesters clashed with riot police in Istanbul for a second day and protests erupted in the capital Ankara.
The unrest was triggered by government plans for a replica Ottoman-era barracks housing shops or apartments in Istanbul's Taksim Square, long a venue for political protest, but has widened into a broader show of defiance against Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party.
A Belgian conservative politician, Turkey-born Bulduk Berya said she decided to organise the protest to denounce the way the Turkish police repressed protesters in Turkey.
We deplore the way the insurrection has been treated. The police is playing an important power game. We cannot accept this, as the path to democracy cannot repress people in such a way," she told Reuters.
"The Internet connection [is] completely shut down, people are not able to tweet or use social media. And the local media in Turkey, there are giving like competition programmes and stupid shows all the time, 24/7, but you can't see any news," said activist Selen Parman.
Erdogan has overseen a transformation in Turkey during his decade in power, turning its once crisis-prone economy into the fastest-growing in Europe.
He remains by far the country's most popular politician, but critics point to what they see as his authoritarianism and the religiously conservative government's meddling in private life in the secular republic, accusing him of behaving like a modern-day sultan.
Tighter restrictions on alcohol sales and warnings against public displays of affection in recent weeks have also led to protests. Concern that government policy is allowing Turkey to be dragged into the conflict in neighbouring Syria by the West has also sparked peaceful demonstrations.
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