PRAY for TURKEY
Istanbul (CNN) — Trade unions claiming 240,000 members are throwing their weight behind anti-government demonstrations across Turkey.
The KESK confederation of public sector workers was calling a two-day strike starting Tuesday to protest what it called the “fascism” of the governing party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has become one of the focal points of demonstrators’ anger. They have united demonstrators from across the political spectrum against a common foe: security forces who unleashed tear gas and water cannon on them in response to what had been largely peaceful protests against Erdogan’s government. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on Tuesday apologized “for the police aggression against our citizens who were involved in the initial protests and acted with environmental concern,” Turkey’s semiofficial Anadolu news agency reported. But, Arinc said, “I don’t think we owe an apology to those who caused destruction on the streets and who interfered with people’s freedom.”
The Turkish Medical Association said that at least 3,195 people were injured in clashes Sunday and Monday. Of them, 26 were in serious or critical condition, it said.
One protester, Mehmet Ayvalitas, died of his injuries, the association said. And the governor of Hatay in southeastern Turkey said that a 22-year-old man, Abdulah Comert, was killed with a firearm by unknown people during demonstrations late Monday, Anadolu reported.
The medical association reported that the bulk of the injuries occurred in Istanbul, where the protests began before spreading to Ankara, Izmir, Adana and other places.