Turkey's Erdogan condemns France violence in 'yellow vest' protests

Turkey's Erdogan condemns France violence in 'yellow vest' protests
Turkey's President Tayyip Recep Erdogan has condemned violence on both sides following clashes between protesters and police in France.
2 min read
08 December, 2018
Turkey's president has condemned the violence in Paris, following clashes between French police and "yellow vest" protesters, following criticism of his own clampdown on dissenters in the country.

President Tayyip Recep Erdogan said that although trouble seems to have been started by anti-government protesters - dubbed the "yellow vests" due to the high-vis bibs they wear - police were also guilty of using "excessive violence".

It follows criticism from the French government about alleged human rights abuses by Erdogan's government - including the detention of hundreds of police officers, soldiers and government workers accused of backing a 2016 coup in Turkey, along with other tough security measures.

"The policemen of those who ridiculed our police, who criticized them, who said that our police was cruel, look what their police is doing now," Erdogan said.

"Turkey is against the violence, the violence of chaos created by protesters and the disproportionate violence that is reciprocated (by police)."

French "yellow vest" protesters clashed with police in Paris on Saturday, with armoured vehicles deployed to the city centre.

Protesters built barricades and set fire to at least one vehicle, as the anti-government demonstrations escalated with police using tear gas.

Hundreds have been arrested in France in connection with the often violent protests, while trouble has also been seen in neighbouring Belgium.

Turkish police on Friday, meanwhile, arrested dozens of military personnel in connection with the 2016 failed coup, state media reported.

Forty-one suspects had been detained by late Friday morning, according to state news agency Anadolu, after the Ankara public prosecutor ordered arrest warrants for 87 former non-commissioned officers in the Turkish airforce.

A failed coup in 2016 was blamed on exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, with scores of his suspected supporters detained.

Agencies contributed to this story.