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Solidarity demos across Europe for protestors in Turkey

Hundreds of people have gathered in Brussels, Madrid and most major German cities in a show of solidarity with protestors in Turkey,according to euronews.

Holding up anti-government banners and chanting “Resign,” the crowds called for Turkish premier Tayyip Erdogan to step down from what many now see as his increasingly authoritarian rule.

One protestor in Brussels told euronews, “We would like to get rid of this government first and get more freedom, freedom of speech. And at the end of it all, we’d like a better government.”

Many have

complained that Turkish mass media – under the control of Erdogan’s AKP party since 2002 – has been strangely mute about events over the last few days.

By contrast, Twitter, Facebook and other global sites have been humming with the news in Turkey.

But any talk of a ‘Turkish Spring’ seems – at least for the moment – premature. So far, only a small cross-section of society has been represented by the protestors, mainly upper-class youths from the secular “white Turk” social strata.

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"We Are Tired Of This Oppressive Government, "Say Turkish Protesters

Hundreds of protesters have returned to the streets of Istanbul and Ankara after two days of unrest that have seen almost 1,000 arrests.

Largely peaceful protesters waved flags in Istanbul's Taksim Square but there were reports police had fired tear gas in Kizilay Square in Ankara,according to BBC.

The protests began over redeveloping a park near Taksim Square but broadened into anti-government unrest.

The protests represent the most sustained anti-government unrest for a number of years.

The BBC's James Reynolds in Istanbul says a lot of people are fed up with the government, which they believe wants to take away some of their personal freedoms.

There had been some isolated clashes around the streets of Istanbul in the early hours of Sunday.

Early in the morning, handfuls of protesters and spectators gathered in Taksim Square to survey the winnings of their battle against the police. Under steady rain, one group of men stood over a small fire. Others looked out across a collection of cars and trucks destroyed late at night. One man wiped clean the steering wheel of a burnt out truck.

"We're not from any party," said one protester. "This is civil resistance. We are really happy. We've won the square."

But winning the square has come at a cost. The late night vandalism here has angered some peaceful campaigners.

"After last night we feel like we lost," said one young man. "It was a protest that was won by the public, but what happened overnight doesn't reflect well on us."

Our correspondent says that steady rainfall has dampened protests, and many of the demonstrators went home to get some rest.

However, there were calls on social media for renewed protests and hundreds of people waving flags later returned to Taksim Square, some chanting "Government, Resign"

One protester, Akin, told Reuters: "We will stay until the end. We are not leaving. The only answer now is for this government to fall. We are tired of this oppressive government constantly putting pressure on us."

More than 1,000 protesters also gathered in Kizilay Square in Ankara on Sunday, with reports police had fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse them.

Amnesty International claimed two people had been killed and more than 1,000 injured, though there was no confirmation of those figures.

Amnesty's Europe director John Dalhuisen said: "The excessively heavy-handed response to the entirely peaceful protests in Taksim has been truly disgraceful."

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OWS Activists in US Rally in Solidarity with Turkish Protesters

TEHRAN- Hundreds of people, including activists from the Occupy Wall Street movement, staged a demonstration in New York City to voice their support for anti-government rallies in the Turkish city of Istanbul, according to FNA.

The protesters gathered in Zuccotti Park - the birthplace of the Occupy Wall Street movement in Lower Manhattan - on Saturday, and marched nearly 5 kilometers (3 miles) to the Turkish consulate, press tv reported.

Some of the demonstrators carried signs reading "Istanbul is not alone," while others waved the Turkish national flag.

The Occupy Wall Street movement announced in a statement that the event was held with the goal to direct public attention to Istanbul's Gezi Park protests, and the subsequent violent crackdown on the protests by Turkey's ruling AK Party, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Similar demonstrations are scheduled to be held in several major US cities, including Austin, Boston and Chicago.

Rallies showing solidarity with Turkish protesters have taken a worldwide scope, and scores of people in Belgium, Britain, Cyprus and Norway have protested against Turkish police brutality and heavy-handed measures against the demonstrators in Istanbul.

Egyptian protesters also plan to stage a rally outside the Turkish embassy in Cairo on Sunday evening in support of the protesters in Istanbul.

On Saturday night, about 5,000 protesters surrounded Erdogan's office in Istanbul's Besiktas municipality, located on the European shore of the strait of Bosphorus, and threw stones at the office, injuring at least seven policemen.

Special police forces used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the demonstrators.

Earlier in the day, 100,000 demonstrators gathered in Taksim Square, demanding that Erdogan step down and calling the government "fascist".

The anti-government unrest began after police broke up a sit-in staged in Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against the demolition of Gezi Park.

Amnesty International has censured the Turkish police for the tactics they have used to control the protests.

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Poll: 76 percent of Britons Oppose Hague on Arming Terrorists in Syria

TEHRAN - Over three quarters of the public believes that Britain should avoid arming the terrorists in Syria, according to a poll in the wake of Britain's support for the lifting of an EU arms embargo, according to FNA.

More than half (58%) would support offering humanitarian aid.

Last week the European Union lifted its arms embargo on Syria, with the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, claiming that the decision gave the UK and others flexibility in responding to a worsening situation.

An Opinion/Observer poll published on Saturday suggested that public opinion would not be behind any military intervention, no matter how hands-off. In a sign of the public's changing attitude towards Britain's role in the world, 78% of those polled said that they believe the UK is too overstretched as a result of Iraq and Afghanistan to intervene in a new conflict. Nearly three quarters (72%) believe that the UK can no longer afford to act as a major military power. More than two thirds (69%) believe that the UK should restrict the military to protecting UK territory and providing humanitarian aid in times of crisis.

Respondents broadly disapproved of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts with just under a third saying they supported them and around 60% opposing the interventions. Yesterday the United Nations said more than 1,000 people were killed in Iraq in May, the highest monthly death toll for years. Respondents were narrowly in favor of the no-fly zone in Libya, with 46% supporting it and 32% opposing it.

Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, has also questioned the policy. "How would the government prevent British-supplied weapons falling into the wrong hands, and how does supplying weapons help to secure a lasting peace?" he asked.

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Colonization behind the War in Syria – Bolivia

 

TEHRAN,( ST)_   Bolivian Assistant Foreign Minister Juan Carlos Alorald  stressed  that those who were behind igniting  the flames of war in Iraq and Afghanistan are the ones who provoked the war in Syria, considering  UN resolutions to resolve the crisis in Syria are useless,  and led to the escalation of violence and contributed to foreign  interference.

In a statement to the Iranian News Agency (IRNA) on Saturday, the Bolivian official explained  that the UN resolutions to resolve the crisis in Syria are no longer useful  to restore security and stability to Syria, calling for " taking  advantage of opportunities for national dialogue to settle differences."

He continued  that the crisis in Syria is part of a colonial scheme by  arrogant powers and another form of military aggression of colonization against an independent country, stressing that colonial powers only consider  its own interests and  that cultural, intellectual, economic and political colonization of  other peoples is still listed on colonial powers agenda.

On March 13th , 2012,  Bolivian President Evo Morales said that the crisis in Syria is an internal affair ,fed from abroad , noting  that the call for military intervention in Syria hides commercial motives.

 

T. Fateh