Turkish PM warns against "inhuman interventions" in Libya

22:03, February 22, 2011      

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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday warned of "inhuman interventions" against protesters in Libya, urging the Libyan leadership to listen to the people's demands.

"Inhuman interventions against those who voice their demands in democratic ways will exacerbate the spiral of violence. We are concerned of the spread of increasing violence to the whole of Libya," Erdogan said in a speech to his ruling Justice and Development Party at the parliament.

He urged the Libyan authorities to listen to their people's demands, the same call he made to the Egyptian government before Egypt's long-time leader Hosni Mubarak stepped down under the pressure of protests.

"Nobody must fall into the mistake of turning a blind eye to the people's demands for democracy and freedoms. The Libyan administration must not commit such a mistake," Erdogan said.

Libya was rocked by unrest in the past week with unconfirmed media reports that hundreds of protesters were killed in clashes with the security forces.

Qatar-based Al-Jazeera TV also reported that the Libyan forces hurled hand grenades at anti-government demonstrators in Tripoli on Monday and warplanes bombed protesters en route to a local army base.

Turkey has evacuated 1,083 of its nationals back to the country from Libya so far, Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said Tuesday.

Two Turkish ferries were expected to arrive in Libya Tuesday afternoon to evacuate nearly 3,000 Turkish nationals, while another two ships will be sent later, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters.

Officials put the number of Turks in Libya at around 25,000 and Erdogan had phoned Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi twice over securing Turkish citizens' safety, Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan told reporters Monday.

More than 200 Turkish firms are operating in Libya with nearly 4,000 Turkish workers and projects worth more than 15 billion U.S. dollars, Caglayan said.

He said looters attacked 14 Turkish construction sites in Libya but no casualties of Turkish citizens were reported.

Source: Xinhua

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