Outspoken American linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky has condemned the police crackdown on protesters denouncing the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, saying it recalled "the most shameful moments of Turkish history," according to the Turkish Huriyet newspaper.
"I would like to join Amnesty International and others who defend basic human rights in condemning the brutal measures of the state authorities in response to the peaceful protests in Taksim in Central Istanbul," Chomsky said in a written statement June 1.
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"The reports of the past few days are reminiscent of some of the most shameful moments of Turkish history, which, it seemed, had been relegated to the past during the progress of the past years that has been welcomed and praised by all of us who wish the best for Turkey and its people," he added.
Protest in Izmir (Video: Reuters)
Tear gas in Taksim Square (Video: Reuters)
Taksim Square (Video: Reuters)
Protests in Istanbul's Taksim Gezi Park started on Monday. Initially over authorities' plan to redevelop the park into a shopping mall, the demonstrations rapidly gained momentum and became a mass protest against Erdogan and his AKP party's Islamist policies.
Over the weekend the protests spread across the country, and thousands took to the streets and clashed with policemen, who used tear gas and water hoses in attempt to disperse the crowds.
According to Amnesty, two protestors died and at least 1,000 were injured in protests' focal point in Istanbul's Taksim.
Chomsky was recently involved in the pressures that led to noted physicist Stephen Hawking to pull out of the President's Conference in Jerusalem.
The British Guardian newspaper reported last month that Chomsky was one of 20 academics from prominent universities who approached Hawking and convinced him to cancel his arrival in Israel, scheduled for June.
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