Liberal International

LI President Releases Statement on Government Crackdown in Turkey

Liberal International , vrijdag 07 juni 2013

LI President: “Protests show Turkey is ready for a strong liberal alternative”
In response to the authoritarian suppression of the ongoing peaceful protests in Istanbul and across the Turkish Republic, LI President Hans van Baalen MEP commented: “We have been following the protests from day one, as the right to demonstrate is a basic Human Right. It is a good thing that the Turkish people are speaking out and defending their democracy”.

He continued: “The resilience of the peaceful protestors and the increasing support by the general public, fueled by the disproportionate response of the police and the inflammatory rhetoric of the Prime Minister Erdogan, have made one thing clear and evident: Turkey is ready for a strong liberal alternative. The Turkish people stand firm in their fight for freedom of expression and transparency, as well as for the democratic rights of minorities. I want to express the determined support from liberals worldwide for the establishment of a strong, stable force of freedom in the center of the Turkish political spectrum. The respect for tradition and religion is in no way opposite to the demands for true liberal democracy and good governance”.

LI President Van Baalen continued: “The Turkish people are determined to show that they are part of the modern world and the community of democratic nations. Their government is not. Prime Minister Erdogan claims the peaceful protestors are terrorists, extremists, foreigners, minorities, “Tweeting-destructors” and, of course, Liberals. Those were the same words that were used by Ben Ali, Mubarak, Ghadaffi and Assad to label the peaceful demonstrators. These days those are also the words of Erdogan”.

Van Baalen said: “We totally disagree with the allegations by the Erdogan government that the protests are inspired by foreigners. They represent a genuine example of free expression from the Turkish people. We won’t give into pressure in offering our support to the Turkish liberals, democrats and freedom loving people for they are many. Our support will be vocal and unconditional for Istanbul is a European and international city, for Izmir is an open Mediterranean port, for Bursa is a city of entrepreneurs, for Ankara is a city founded by people in pursuit of freedom and democracy. We praise the words of moderation by President Gül, who left space for dialogue. I met him, and I believe he is a wise man. There are many like him in Turkey's administration”.