Those who give democracy lessons to Turkey should look in the mirror
The Turkish Foreign Ministry was critical in its statement against the efforts of “circles”, as it states, which try to interfere in internal affairs.
Student and teacher protests at Bogazici University, which resulted in the arrest of dozens of students by security forces, have been the target of Western and government media, accusing the Turkish government of violating individual liberties and restricting freedoms.
Students and professors at Istanbul’s Bogazici University, ignoring the ban on protests, protested the appointment of Mehmet Bulu, an academic and former political candidate, as rector by the Erdogan government.
As stated in the announcement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “the right to assembly and demonstration and freedom of expression are constitutionally guaranteed in our country. Our security forces will continue to fulfill their duties and responsibilities with the authorization of the law from now on, as in any case up until now”.
“Attempts have been made to infiltrate and incite circles outside the university and linked to a terrorist organization, and the necessary and proportionate measures are being taken under our laws against these illegal acts that go beyond the right to protest”, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“We warn these circles not to use language that provokes groups that use illegal means and encourage illegal acts”, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Recent images of disproportionate violence by security forces against innocent civilians with the slightest objection to government in many countries, called ‘developed’ democracies, are still fresh in our minds”, the statement said, recalling scenes of violence lately in many European and American cities, advising those trying to give a lecture on democracy to “look in the mirror”.
“Turkey demonstrates its determination to protect fundamental rights and freedoms in accordance with the constitution with the reforms it is carrying out and the country is determined to continue the fight against terrorism”, the ministry said.
On Tuesday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said 79 of those arrested were members of terrorist organizations, including the DHKP/C and TKP-ML.
Protests escalated when two Bogazici University students were detained by a Turkish court for displaying a painting deemed offensive.
Earlier in the day, the governor’s office in Istanbul said in a statement that 159 suspects had been arrested during the protests. Authorities said in a separate statement that 98 of those arrested were released a while later./ibna