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Turkish Embassy Official: Former Kyrgyz President Not In Turkey


Meken Sheitteri members protest in front of the Kyrgyz parliament on May 26.

Meken Sheitteri members protest in front of the Kyrgyz parliament on May 26.

BISHKEK -- Some 50 members of the Meken Sheyitteri (Martyrs of the Land) movement have picketed the Turkish Embassy in Bishkek to demand clarification of media reports that ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev is in Turkey, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Some news agencies in Russia and Belarus reported on May 25 that Bakiev had left Belarus for a vacation in Turkey.

An embassy official came out of the building to assure the protesters that Bakiev was not in Turkey.

Meken Sheyitteri was established by relatives of the victims of last month's clashes between security forces and antigovernment protesters that resulted in Bakiev's ouster and brought an interim government to power.

Over 80 people died and hundreds were injured during the April 7 protests.

Bakiev and some of his relatives and former associates are wanted in Kyrgyzstan for alleged abuse of power, corruption, financial mismanagement, and ordering security forces to open fire on the demonstrators.
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