Politics

NGOs Organize Protest against Turkish President Erdogan’s Visit

By 27 April 2016

Not everybody thinks that President Erdogan should be welcomed to Croatia.

With Erdogan’s visit, we are turning a blind eye towards all human rights violations caused by his repressive policies – that was the main message of a peaceful protest held in Zagreb against the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Erdogan arrived in Zagreb yesterday afternoon, accompanied by six ministers, about a hundred members of security team and more than a hundred Turkish businessmen, reports Index.hr on April 27, 2016.

The organizers of the protest were the Welcome Initiative and the Platform for International Civil Solidarity CROSOL. One of the banners at the protest read: “EU, you have sold you soul to the devil!” The protest which gathered just a small number of activists was accompanied by a very strong police force.

"We urge the rejection of the position of Croatian authorities which, by receiving this dictator into the country under the pretext of economic investments, are ignoring all human rights violations which are the result of Erdogan's policies. The economic benefit to Croatia is extremely dubious and vague, but data and evidence about violations of a range of rights in Turkey are very much confirmed and well-known”, read the invitation to the protest.

The Turkish government is accused of killing refugees on the border with Syria. Also, Turkey has allegedly illegally forced thousands of refugees to return to Syria, according to organizers who emphasized that conditions in shelters and detention centres for refugees in Turkey were not acceptable.

"Turkey is a country where activists, academic and media representatives are being regularly verbally harassed, arrested for supporting the publication of information which does not support the position of the authorities in Ankara, punished by enormous fines under the pretext that they insult the ruling party. Also, some of the cases of murders of journalists have not yet been resolved. We should also point out that Turkey is a country which systematically violates workers' rights, women's rights and LGBT rights, a country in which there has been an ethnic conflict between Turks and Kurds since the end of World War I, a country in which opponents of the government are dealt with so-called counterterrorism measures”, say the organizers.

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