Turkey Mishandled Protests—Council of Europe

Created: 2013-06-26 17:41 EST

Category: World > Europe
Head of the Council of Europe Thorbjoern Jagland said on Tuesday (June 25) that the Turkish government has shown "obvious examples" of mishandling weeks of anti-government protests.
Washington and European nations have already criticised Ankara over its crackdown on the demonstrations. 
Demonstrations had begun as peaceful resistance to plans to redevelop a central Istanbul park, but quickly spiralled into broader and more violent protests against the government.
The European Union on Tuesday reprimanded Turkey over its handling of the protests by postponing a new round of membership talks for at least four months. 
[Thorbjoern Jagland, Head of Council of Europe]:
"I have got their views, namely that there were quite many violent and extremist elements in these demonstrations. I accept that but I also said that I have seen other pictures, images where excessive violence was used and also tear gas in an unacceptable way." 
Jagland says it’s now important to facilitate a dialogue with "those that were protesting peacefully at the outset and also look into what kind of arguments they have."
The 47-member state Council of Europe aims to promote cooperation between countries concerning legal standards, human rights, democracy and the rule of law. 
EU governments will meet again after the report by the European Commission on reforms and human rights in Turkey comes out, to set a date for talks in the light of Turkey's behaviour.