80.000 Rally Against Erdogan in Germany – Turkey Protesters Back At Taksim Square
Christof Lehmann (nsnbc),- About 80.00 protesters in Germany joined a rally against Turkey´s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan in the German city Cologne. Also protesters from France and Switzerland joined the protests in Germany. Meanwhile, Protesters in Turkey have taken back the historically significant Taksim Square. Rallies were held in cities throughout Turkey.
Protesters in Germany as well as in Turkey protested under the slogan “Taksim and the Resistance are everywhere”. Turkey´s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan has, since the onset of the protests and the first violent police crack-down on peaceful protesters on 31 May 2013, come under increased pressure from foreign governments.
After a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmed Davotoglu, the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle criticized the Erdogan administration for police brutality and said, that “calming the situation in Turkey still requires additional efforts”.
Turkish – German relations have become increasingly stressed, after the German government opposed the admission of Turkey into the European Union, and after Germany´s Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized Turkey for the violent crack-down on protesters, describing them as “much too harsh”. Both Germany and Turkey have summoned each other´s ambassadors and exchanged criticism.
Turkey´s Minister for European Union Affairs Egemen Bagis warned Angela Merkel against exploiting the situation in Turkey for domestic politics and implicitly claimed that Merkel abused the situation in Turkey to promote her election campaign for Germaney´s election in September, saying: “If Merkel is looking for material for her election campaign, it should not be Turkey”.
Protests continued in Turkey, and protesters have retaken Taksim Square in Istanbul, one week after the police dispersed the protesters from Taksim Square and nearby Gezi Park with unprecedented brutality.
Police attacked the protesters with teargas, and water cannons. Also rubber coated metal bullets were fired at the protesters by the police.
While media often use the euphemism “Rubber Bullets”, the term is misleading. The ammunition, which use is being criticized by human rights organizations worldwide, is metal ammunition, coated with a layer of rubber.
The ammunition is “less lethal” than non rubber coated ammunition, but it can be lethal if it is fired at close range, or if a person is hit at sensitive or soft areas of the body. The use of Rubber Coated Metal Ammunition is a further escalation of the Erdogan administration´s crack-down on protesters.
Turkey´s Medical Union states, that at lest 4 people have been killed and approximately 7.800 have been injured when police forces attacked protesters in Taksim Square and Gezi Park last Saturday.