Obama discusses Turkey protests with Erdogan

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has spoken with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (REH’-jehp TY’-ihp UR’-doh-wahn) for the first time since protests swept through Turkey.

The White House says the two leaders discussed “the importance of nonviolence and of the rights to free expression.” They also discussed the right of assembly and a free press.

The protests began in late May and quickly turned into widespread demonstrations against Erdogan’s leadership. The demonstrations turned violent at times, and Erdogan has accused terrorist groups of involvement.

The leaders also discussed the situation in Syria and the need to provide support to forces opposing President Bashar Assad’s regime.

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