Turkey condemns violence against Myanmar protesters

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ANKARA

Turkey on Saturday “strongly condemned” the most violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Myanmar when the ruling military regime put on a show of its strength on its annual Armed Forces Day.

“We strongly condemn this excessive violence towards the civilians in Myanmar. On this occasion, we reiterate our call for ending such acts against the civilian population without delay, the immediate release of all elected leaders, political personalities and civilians who have been detained and the necessary steps to be taken towards returning to democracy,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

According to media reports, volunteer groups and witnesses to the killings, more than 140 people were shot dead by the security forces on Saturday.

“We follow with concern that the Military Regime in Myanmar has further increased the use of deadly force against civilians, ignoring the calls of the international community,” the statement added.

The ministry also said it is “deeply saddened” that the highest number of civilian losses occurred on the annual Armed Forces Day, as a result of the actions undertaken by the security forces.

Myanmar’s military junta, in a televised message on Friday night, warned the protesters of the risk of being shot in the head and back if they continue the anti-coup demonstrations.

The protesters, however, defied the junta threat and took to the streets in towns and cities across the country on Saturday, facing the violent crackdown by the security forces.

The protests began just after Feb. 1 when the military ousted and detained Myanmar’s democratically elected leader Aung Suu Kyi.

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