Sean Penn, David Lynch, 'Downton Abbey' Creator Julian Fellowes Condemn Turkish Government

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Sean Penn

In an open letter published as a full-page ad in The Times of London, the celebs criticize the response to unrest in the territory.

LONDON -- David Lynch, Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes and Sean Penn are among the signatories on an open letter to Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan's government and its handling of recent unrest in Turkey.

The letter to Erdogan, taken out as an advertisement in The Times of London, owned and published by Rupert Murdoch's News U.K., said the signatories "vigorously condemn the heavy-handed clamp down of your police forces on the peaceful protesters."

STORY: Turkish Government Cracks Down on Social Media in Response to Weeks of Popular Unrest 

In June last year, unrest hit Turkey after police tried to forcibly move peaceful demonstrators camped out in Istanbul's Taksim Square in a bid to halt a planned redevelopment of the area.

Violent clashes followed as political activists took to the streets to protest Erdogan's government and the introduction of strict conservative policies.

The letter goes on to accuse Erdogan's government of "relying on untold brutal force" and having "disregard" for the five protesters who died during clashes.

Fellowes isn't the only Oscar-winning scribe signing the letter. Tom Stoppard's signature appears along with those of Ben Kingsley, Susan Sarandon and James Fox.

High-profile legal eagles and history scholars also lent their pen to the letter of protest.