The Latest: Turkey says Spanish territorial integrity is key

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Updated 3:39 am, Tuesday, October 3, 2017

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on Catalonia’s independence referendum and Spain’s response (all times local):

9:35 a.m.

Turkey’s foreign ministry spokesman says respect for Spain’s territorial integrity is a main “principle.”

Huseyin Muftuoglu said in a statement issued early Tuesday that it was important that both sides abide by Spain’s laws and avoid violence.

His comment follows Sunday’s independence referendum in Catalonia that Spain’s courts deemed illegal. More than 800 people were injured as riot police clashed with unarmed civilians trying to cast their ballots.

Muftuoglu said Turkey believes Spain will overcome “such tests.”

Turkey, which is battling a Kurdish insurgency, has strongly opposed a referendum on independence by the semi-autonomous Kurdish region in neighboring Iraq, threatening economic sanctions and military action.

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8:45 a.m.

Labor unions and grassroots pro-independence groups are urging workers to hold partial or full-day strikes throughout Catalonia to protest alleged brutality by police during a referendum on the region’s secession from Spain that left hundreds of people injured.

The strike call comes as Catalan leaders ponder a possible declaration of independence this week following the referendum that Spain said was illegal and invalid.

Port workers were being called to demonstrate Tuesday outside the regional headquarters of Spain’s ruling Popular Party while firefighters planned a rally outside the Interior Ministry’s regional office in the Catalan capital of Barcelona.

Protests were also to be staged outside polling stations where police acted with force to try to prevent Sunday’s poll being held.



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