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Berlin urges Turkey to respect freedom to demonstrate

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Germany on Sunday urged Turkey to "respect the freedom to demonstrate and freedom of expression," in a tweet by government spokesman Steffen Seibert.

"The German government has warned several times: freedom to demonstrate and freedom of expression must be guaranteed and peaceful citizens respected," the spokesman said, reacting to the latest violence in Turkey.

In another tweet, Seibert said there should be "a continuation of dialogue" in Turkey, adding: "The German government again calls on all parties to reason".

Two of Turkey's main trade union federations said they would go on strike nationwide Monday in protest at a police crackdown on anti-government demonstrators in Istanbul overnight.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan meanwhile defended the violent crackdown, saying it was his "duty" to order the evacuation of Istanbul's Gezi Park after demonstrators defied his warnings to leave.

Germany is home to the biggest Turkish community in the countries of the European Union and demonstrations have been held in solidarity with the opposition to Erdogan's Islamic-rooted regime.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130616/berlin-urges-turkey-respect-freedom-demonstrate-0