In a prepared release, U.S. Senator Chris
Murphy, D-Conn., chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European
Affairs, today issued this statement on recent protests in Turkey, "calling on the
government to allow peaceful demonstrations and freedom of speech by the
The statement is as follows, unedited here:
What began as peaceful
demonstrations in Turkey have been met with excessive force by police and
escalated to frightening scenes of violence and destruction.
The rights to assemble
peacefully and speak freely are pillars of an open, modern democracy. As
President Gul recently said, “Democracy does not mean elections alone…There can
be nothing more natural for the expression on various views, various situations
and objections through a variety of ways, besides elections.” Turkey has been a
critical and valued ally of the United States, but our alliance suffers when
Turkey does not fully respect the right of its people to protest and speak
As Turkey makes strides
to form a truly inclusive democracy, it must allow peaceful protests and
refrain from the use of excessive force against its people. It must also accept
freedom of speech as a fundamental right, whether in the streets or on social
media. Equally important is that the protestors refrain from violence as well,
and petition the government through non-violent resistance alone.
History shows that is
the most effective means to achieve long term change.
Labels: D-Conn, Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, protests in Turkey, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy