Turkey’s foreign ministry warns citizens visiting France about protests

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PHOTO: AFP

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday issued a travel advisory for citizens traveling to France warning them against ongoing violent protests in Paris and across the country, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The warning published on the ministry’s official website advised citizens who live in France or who will travel there to avoid areas of demonstrations and places that could pose a threat to their safety.

It also asked Turkish citizens to exercise caution while traveling on highways and intercity roads, citing the recent closure of roads as well as barricades and blockades.

The ministry also advised citizens living and traveling to France “to follow local media, to follow further warnings of … French authorities, our ministry, our embassy in Paris.”

Thousands of “yellow vest” protesters have gathered in Paris and several other cities for the last two weeks to protest French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial fuel tax.

Demonstrators, who generally live in rural areas due to high rents in the city center, have demanded from Macron a reduction in fuel taxes and an economy that will ease their lives.

The French police on Saturday cracked down on protesters around the famous Champs-Elysées in Paris with tear gas and water cannons.

Demonstrators set a large number of vehicles and trash cans ablaze and threw stones and bottles at the police.

They called for Macron’s resignation and sprayed slogans on the walls.

Some tried to cross the security barriers to the Elysée Palace, but police blocked them using tear gas.

Streets in several cities were closed to traffic.

According to French authorities, around 5,500 protesters marched in the streets of Paris.

So far, at least two people have been killed and 890 people injured, 158 of them security forces. A total of 1,081 people have been detained, and nine protestors were sentenced to four months in prison during more than two weeks of demonstrations.

The French leader warned that the perpetrators of the violence in the ongoing protests in Paris will be punished.

According to a survey conducted in the country, 84 percent of French people support the “yellow vests,” mostly from the middle-income group.

Fuel prices in France have increased by more than 20 percent in the last year.

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