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US rejects any American involvement in Gezi Park protests

A State Department spokesperson refuted accusations that US groups or individuals were responsible for Istanbul's Gezi Park protests
A US State Department spokesperson on Monday rejected a news story that appeared on a Turkish daily which accused a US-based think tank was behind Istanbul's Gezi Park protests.

"I did see the report and we absolutely reject the accusations that US groups or individuals are responsible for or have elevated, or escalated, I should actually say, the protests in Turkey," Jen Psaki told a daily press briefing.

Psaki said US Secretary of State John F. Kerry has spoken with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Saturday. "As you all know, they speak regularly. Often the thrust of their conversations is about Syria and their close cooperation, our close coordination on that issue. That was the same with this call as well."

She said the US remained focused on calling on all parties to ease tensions and to resolve the Gezi Park issue through dialogue, taking into account views from across the political spectrum. "And we also continue to urge all sides to exercise restraint and avoid violence."

Psaki cited reports over the weekend about the prosecution of medical professionals who were said to have been treating people injured during protests, adding "all of these are -- all of these reports are greatly concerning and we're very focused on monitoring closely [...] All of this is very concerning, and we of course deplore the use of excessive force in any of these cases."

She said US officials were in close contact with their Turkish counterparts at the highest levels, "and we're hopeful that we can -- this can be resolved with calm and by an encouragement of restraint in Turkey."(AA)
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