Crackdown on peaceful protesters in Istanbul: Noam Chomsky

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Outspoken American linguist and political philosopher Noam Chomsky has condemned the brutal police crackdown on protesters denouncing the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, saying it recalled “the most shameful moments of Turkish history.”

“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.

“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.

The Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality had planned to replace the little green patch surrounded by multi-storey hotels with a reproduction of the Artillery Barracks (“Topçu Kışlası”) that used to occupy the sight. According to the project revealed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the barracks would be converted into a shopping mall and could also serve as a residence with social facilities.

However, the plans stirred huge debate among Istanbul locals, who objected to the conversion of one of the last green areas at the heart of the city into yet another shopping mall.

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