World Bulletin/News Desk
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, in his first statement about the demonstrations taking place in İstanbul's Taksim Square and other cities, said the protests have damaged Turkey's reputation in the international arena.
“No one will benefit from the continuation of the protests, it will just damage the reputation of our country, which is admired both in the region and the world,” said Davutoğlu in a tweet he sent from his official Twitter account. He added that the Taksim events show Turkey in a way that the country does not deserve.
The Turkish foreign minister also criticized the protests for targeting the 10-year-old democratic experience, steps taken to facilitate freedom of expression and the settlement process that is under way to solve the country's Kurdish problem.
International reactions to protests continue to pour in
The demonstrations started as a reaction against the demolition of Taksim's Gezi Park and later turned into clashes between police forces and marginal groups that, according to the environmentalists, hijacked their cause.
Meanwhile, international reactions to the protestors and the police's use of force continued to pour in on Monday.
The White House called for all parties in Turkey to “calm the situation” in a statement. Spokeswoman Laura Lucas said the US believes peaceful public demonstrations are part of democratic expression and added that Turkey's long-term stability can be best guaranteed by upholding the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association. In particular, the statement called on security forces to exercise restraint.
EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton made a similar call to all sides in the protests as she noted the EU's regrets over "disproportionate use of force by members of the Turkish police."
Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland also commented on demonstrations in Turkey in a statement on Monday. Stressing the need to investigate allegations of excessive police force, Jagland called on Turkish authorities to look at the "underlying causes of the protests and to do their utmost to address them in a peaceful and democratic manner." He also urges all media outlets to provide full and accurate coverage of the events.
Seperately, the Socialist group in the European Parliament strongly criticized Turkish police for using excessive force at protests in dispersing crowds.
In a statement published on Monday, Hannes Swoboda -- president of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament who the Turkish opposition accused of being an Erdogan representative after he deemed a comparison between Erdogan and Assad to be inappropriate-- commented on the clashes, in which he said "The Turkish government must work for peace and social justice instead of igniting new conflicts through politically motivated projects and it cannot continue to allow this severe police violence. We express our full solidarity with the demonstrators, many of whom are being deliberately attacked by the police with tear gas.”Güncelleme Tarihi: 04 Haziran 2013, 09:22