Associated press release from Turkey’s 27 different environmental organization and participants

Translated by Translators For Justice

Give Back Rights of Nature

We Demand Policies That Respect Nature

 As defenders of rights of Nature and harmonious coexistence with the environment, rejecting of human domination over Nature, we the undersigned organizations demand an immediate end to the violence against humans and Nature in Turkey.

 We request Gezi Park to remain a public park and to that end we support the demands of Taksim Solidarity. On the other hand, we do not believe that rights of Nature can be made the subject of a referendum. Rights of Nature is not an option;  it is an inherent right about our existence. Consequently, we believe all humans should be given the right to participate in decisions that affect their living space.

 The trees, animals and people subjected violence in Gezi Park are symbols of rivers destroyed by hydro-electric power plants, forests eradicated by construction, nature obliterated by mining, climate changes caused by thermal power plants, bays and beaches destroyed by over-tourism and fish farming, seas annihilated by bottom trawling, soil and everything living on it ruined by chemicals. We are aware that trees, forests, rivers, lakes, shores, climate, soil and every form of life on it are a whole, and any threat to their existence, in turn endangers humans.

What is at stake at Gezi Park are not just a few trees. The violence directed at the protests is about depriving people of their right to live in harmony with their environment.

This violence must be stopped immediately and peace should prevail. Laws which protect natural living space for people and respect ecological rights to life need to be enacted and ensuing regulations should be implemented.

Gezi Park protests is an expansive popular movement that focuses on Nature. It is an important pioneering movement arising from the usurpation of ecological rights. The initial defenders of trees tried to make their voices heard in different channels. The precursors of the protests started when smaller groups acted to protest hydro-electric power plants, protection of nature and biodiversity law, nuclear and thermal power plants, constructing a third bridge over the Bosporus, building a new airport in Istanbul, new zoning regulations, laws that allow GMOs,  the law of metropolitan municipalities, the law of mining, policies and regulations that open forests and agricultural areas to construction and harming the livelihood of small scale farmers and producers. These relatively small-scale acts were easily crushed but they kept springing.

We sadly observe the mentality that has violated Nature persistently and callously is now crushing trees, humans and other living beings in Gezi Park.

We, the undersigned organizations committed to protecting Nature and ecology demand that violence against Nature and humans be immediately stopped. We demand that a legislative framework for a harmonious coexistence of humans with nature be drawn in cooperation. We demand that urban and rural policies that respect rights of Nature be legislated and implemented , with the consideration that humans are a part of Nature.

As organizations of ecological existence and environmental protection, we are prepared to give our full support to every earnest step taken in that direction.


Ataköy Platformu

Asin ve Mandala Körfezlerini Koruma Platformu

Bayramiç Yeniköy Kazdağları Ekolojik Yaşam ve Tohum Derneği

Buğday Ekolojik Yaşamı Destekleme Derneği


Doğa Araştırmaları Derneği

Doğa Derneği

Doğal ve Tarihi Değerleri Koruma Derneği

Doğal Yaşam Derneği

Ege Derneği


Ergene Platformu

Greenpeace Akdeniz

Gürsel Tonbul Organik Çiftliği

Hayvan Yaşam Haklarını Koruma Derneği

İstanbul Kuş Gözlem Topluluğu

ODTÜ Biyogen

Sinek Sekiz Yayınevi

Slow Food Ankara

Slow Food Fikir Sahibi Damaklar

Slow Food Yağmur Böreği

Sokak Bizim Derneği

TEMA Türkiye Erozyonla Mücadele, Ağaçlandırma ve Doğal Varlıkları Koruma Vakfı

WWF – Türkiye (Doğal Hayatı Koruma Vakfı)

Yeryüzü Derneği

Yeşil Adımlar Derneği


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