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Hundreds protest against Turkey PM Erdogan on visit to France

Published on Jun 21, 2014 11:19 PM

LYON (AFP) - Hundreds protested against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the French city of Lyon on Saturday as he visited Europe ahead of an expected bid for the presidency.

Organisers said 1,000 people took part in the protest organised by pro-democracy and minority groups near a local government office, where Mr Erdogan met regional officials. The police said there were about 500 protesters.

"His government is authoritarian. It scorns democracy by violently repressing peaceful demonstrations and minorities. It is not normal that he comes to the country of human rights," said Mr Mehmet Demirbas, the head of a local cultural centre for the Alevi community in Lyon.

The community, which follows a moderate form of Islam and accounts for 10 to 15 million of Turkey's 76 million citizens, has frequently clashed with Mr Erdogan's government.

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