Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Questions (162)

Andrew Doyle

Question:

162. Deputy Andrew Doyle asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade further to Parliamentary Question No. 123 of 11 June 2013, his views on the further level of civil and political unrest in Turkey; if any Irish citizens have been caught up in the demonstrations taking place; his views on the case involving one Irish citizen receiving consular assistance from the Embassy of Ireland in Ankara; the plan Ireland has in place for assisting other Irish citizens in the region; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [31675/13]

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Written answers (Question to Foreign)

As outlined in my reply to the Deputy’s Question of 11 June, the recent unrest in Turkey is a cause of deep concern. The excessive use of force by police is deeply regrettable and should be investigated immediately. I would call on the government to fully engage with the protestors on their legitimate concerns, and I would urge calm and restraint on all sides. As also outlined previously, my Department is aware of one Irish citizen who was directly affected by the demonstrations. He was unhurt and given consular assistance by the Irish Embassy in Ankara. I do not intend to comment further on this case. We will provide similar assistance in any other cases which may arise. As outlined in my reply of 11 June, my Department acted as soon as the demonstrations started, heightening the warning in its travel advisory, urging Irish citizens to avoid demonstrations and alerting them to the cities and areas affected. Given the potential for further demonstrations and the possibility of violence, we are advising Irish citizens to exercise caution and to stay well away from the vicinity of all demonstrations, including apparently peaceful demonstrations.

The Department and the Embassy in Ankara continue to follow the situation closely and have been providing advice to concerned Irish citizens. The phones of the Department and the Embassy are monitored out-of-hours for calls from citizens seeking advice or assistance.