Turkey, World, Europe

Erdogan condemns 'violence of French police'

Protests, strikes against labor reform bill paralyze France ahead of Euro 2016

Ayşe Hümeyra Atılgan   | 30.05.2016
Erdogan condemns 'violence of French police'

Istanbul

ISTANBUL

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned "the violence of French police against people who are using their right to protest".

"I am worried and concerned about what is happening in Paris," Erdogan said Monday as he attended a local event in Istanbul.

His remarks came as one of France’s most important workers unions continue to strike over a set of contested labor reforms. The strikes have led to shortages in gas stations.

Since March, several protests have also taken place in the capital and in the rest of the country.

According to the French Interior Ministry, over 2,000 people have been arrested since March during protests against the law.

Erdogan called on human rights associations and western officials to be "more sensitive" about Paris protests.

Pointing out that "there are serious protests across western countries," he criticized "the western media" for not sharing the videos showing security forces using disproportionate force.

"You were giving advice to us," he said referring to the Gezi Park incidents three years ago when a wave of demonstrations took place in Istanbul's Taksim Square.

"Those media outlets that broadcast [Gezi Park incidents] live and almost uninterruptedly, are now blind and deaf.

"Now, I am asking you: Why are you against those who are struggling for freedom in Paris and Brussels?"

The labor reform bill is expected to be debated publically by the French Senate starting June 13. The Euro 2016 football tournament begins on June 10.

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