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News ID: 1367
Asia » Asia
Publish Date: 9:21 - 15 June 2013
Tehran, YJC. -- Hundreds of Macedonia's Turkish minority gathered on Friday in a show of support for Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over ongoing Istanbul protests.
"Erdogan, do not give up," said the banners carried by some 1,500 people gathered in Gostivar, some 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Skopje, home of a large Turkish minority living in Macedonia.

In the capital Skopje, some 500 ethnic Turks rallied after Friday's prayers, shouting "We are with you, Erdogan," waving Turkish and Macedonian flags.

The rallies were organised by a non-governmental group "Youth Forum" and the youth wing of the Democratic Party of Turks in Macedonia.

"We do not side with the demonstrators in Turkey whose only goal is to overthrow the government," said one of the organisers, Fuad Hadhi Ejup.

No incidents were reported at the two rallies, while local media reported that the gatherings were broadcast live on the Turkish national television TRT.

Some 55,000 ethnic Turks live in Macedonia, a southern European country with a population of two million.

A peaceful sit-in to save an Istanbul park from being razed prompted a brutal police response on May 31, spiralling into mass outpourings of anger against Erdogan's government.

In rallies across the country, riot police have used tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets against demonstrators who have at times hurled back fireworks, rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Turkey's Western allies have widely condemned what they described as excessive police force in the clashes.

AFP
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