Due the police violence pursued by the government in the face of social sensitivity after the actual attempt to destroy Gezi Park at about 22:00, on May 27, 2013, fellow citizens in the whole country, firstly in Taksim, İstanbul, are delivering their democratic demands.
First of all, we would like to extend our sympathies to the families of Abdullah Cömert and Mehmet Ayvalıtaş who have lost their lives and our hopes for a speedy recovery for the thousands of wounded fellow citizens.
Unfortunately, the peaceful and democratic expression of society’s demands, driven by democratic and human rights, continues to be met with policies of state violence, oppression and prohibition. We want to make it known that we are making an immense effort to attain as soon as possible a social atmosphere in which not even one of our fellow citizen’s noses bleeds and in which, by removing all tensions, these democratic demands can be put into words.
For these reasons, we, as Taksim Solidarity, are waiting for concrete steps by the government to fulfil the following demands:
- that Gezi Park remain a park; that no construction under the name of Topçu Barracks nor any other occur at Gezi Park; that an official be made statement that the project has been cancelled; that all attempts at the destruction of the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM) are halted;
- that the governors and police chiefs of Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay and all others responsible for obstructing the people in the exercise of their basic democratic rights beginning in opposing the destruction in Taksim Gezi Park, for ordering the violent oppression, for enforcing those orders and for carrying them out, for wounding thousands of people, and for killing two of our fellow citizens be dismissed from duty; that the use of teargas grenades and all similar materials be forbidden;
- That our fellow citizens from every corner of the country who have been taken into custody for joining the resistance be immediately set free, and a statement be made guaranteeing that they will not face prosecution;
- that the obstruction meetings, shows and actions in our public spaces and civic squares in Turkey, above all in the 1st May venues of Taksim and Kızılay, be ended; that all obstructions to freedom of expression be lifted.
As well as these demands, we think it necessary that the authorities should realize the content, spirit, expectations and demands of the reactions rising in the squares, roads, streets and all the public spaces of our country since 22:00 on 27 May 2013. To try to explain what has happened as “marginality” is to ignore it. The mentality of the authorities as symbolised with the intervention in Gezi Park has been perceived as “an intervention in and contempt for life styles and beliefs”, and women, men, youth and elderly have shown a huge social reaction against it, and responded that “we exist, we are here, and we have demands”.
We want to convey to those in power the content of this rising reaction, which is about the following: “the depredation of our ecological values—above all by the Third Bridge, the Third Airport, the Istanbul Canal, the Atatürk Forest Farm, and hydroelectric power stations; objections to the Draft Preservation of Nature and Biodiversity Bill; a stance against the politics of war concerning our country and region and a demand for peace; the sensitivities of our Alevi fellow citizens; the rightful demands of victims of urban-transformation; raising voices against conservative male politicians establishing control over female bodies; resistance against the pressure on universities, the judiciary and artists; the demands of all labourers—above all the workers of Turkish Airlines—against the usurpation of their rights; the struggle against discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and sexual identity; and finally the claims to have removed all the obstacles to citizens’ rights to education and health.”