Unrest and Brutality in Turkey

Floor Speech

By:  Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Date: June 6, 2013
Location: Washington, DC

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise to condemn the excessive force used by Turkish police on demonstrators in Istanbul.

The past few days, these individuals used their rights to assemble and express their displeasure with their government's policies. They called attention to what they view as increasing government curtailment of their rights, but they were met with aggressive violence.

Perhaps just as shocking, most Turkish news outlets did not even cover these events as they unfolded because they feared that they would anger the government and they would go to jail, and because the government controls large parts of the media in Turkey.

This is not the response of a free and democratic society. We expect more from our allies, and I call on Prime Minister Erdogan to condemn this brutal police action and urge the Turkish authorities to exercise restraint.

I also urge both parties to resolve their differences swiftly and peacefully in a manner that respects the rights of all Turkish citizens.