WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, issued the following statement on the arrests of individuals in Turkey involved with recent political protests. Last month, Murphy called on the Turkish government to allow peaceful demonstrations and freedom of speech by the Turkish people.
Yesterday’s widespread arrests in Turkey are more evidence of the Turkish government’s unacceptable level of intolerance for political dissent inside the country. These raids, which reportedly targeted several residences and college dormitories in Istanbul, will inevitably have a chilling effect on political speech in Turkey, coming so close on the heels of the government's violent suppression of last month's protests. The U.S.-Turkey relationship remains strong, but Turkey’s continued suppression of one of the most fundamental pillars of an open, modern democracy – freedom of speech and assembly – is deeply troubling. As Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs, I plan on asking questions regarding how these actions will have consequences for the future of our alliance.