Turkey: Student throws shoe at IMF Chief

Published October 1st, 2009 - 01:51 GMT

A student journalist threw a shoe Thursday at the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during his lecture at Bilgi University of Istanbul. Selcuk Ozbek reportedly charged the stage during Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s speech shouting, “Get out of the university, thief IMF.” His white sports shoe bounced off another student’s head, missing the target. Some students applauded in support as security guards rushed to protect the IMF chief and block Ozbek from reaching the stage.

 

“It is important for us to have an open debate. I was glad to meet students and hear their views. This is what the IMF needs to do, even if not everyone agrees with us, one thing I learned, Turkish students are polite. They waited until the end to complain,” Strauss-Kahn said in a statement following the incident.

 

Turkey, which is currently in talks with the IMF over a new loan, is hosting the IMF and World Bank meetings in Istanbul, which began on Sunday.  Turkish police have arrested over 20 protestors since the start of the conference.

 

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