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Iran Press TV

EU urges Erdogan to be more tolerant of opponents

Iran Press TV

Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:56PM GMT

The European Union has called on Turkey's president-elect, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to show more tolerance towards his opponents.

In a joint statement on Monday, EU Council and EU Commission congratulated the outgoing prime minister's victory in Turkish presidential polls, urging him to adopt a more conciliatory approach.

'We congratulate you on your election as President of the Republic of Turkey,' EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy and EU Commission Head Jose Manuel Barroso said in their joint statement.

'... We trust you will maintain the conciliatory role which your new position involves, and strive to encompass all communities, beliefs, sensitivities, opinions, and lifestyles of the Turkish society,' the top EU officials added.

They called Turkey "a key partner for the European Union, a candidate country negotiating EU accession, a neighbor, an important trade partner and a foreign policy ally.'

Erdogan, the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidate, won almost 52 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election. His main rival Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu won over 38 percent of the Sunday ballot.

In his victory speech, Erdogan called on his opponents, who call him a "dictator," to reconsider their positions.

Erdogan has come under fire on several occasions both at home and abroad for his government's crackdown on the opposition.

Turkey has been the scene of protests against the president in recent months. Most of the demonstrations have turned violent.

SF/HMV/SS



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