US asks parties in Turkey to 'calm the situation'

In a statement, spokeswoman Laura Lucas says the U.S. believes peaceful public demonstrations "are a part of democratic expression."

Young Turks clash with security forces in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, June 2, 2013. Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday rejected claims that he is a "dictator," dismissing protesters as an extremist fringe, even as thousands returned to the landmark Istanbul square that has become the site of the fiercest anti-government outburst in years. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is calling for all parties in Turkey to "calm the situation" amid anti-government protests.

In a statement, spokeswoman Laura Lucas says the U.S. believes peaceful public demonstrations "are a part of democratic expression." And she says Turkey's long-term stability is best guaranteed by upholding "the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and association."

The White House statement in particular calls on security forces in Turkey to "exercise restraint."

Thousands of people around Turkey have been protesting in the country's fiercest anti-government demonstrations in years. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected claims that he is a "dictator," dismissing protesters as an extremist fringe.

Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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