To the Press and the Citizens 29 Haziran 2013

Today is 29 June 2013. For approximately a month, we have been calling out from all corners of our country, from our squares, our parks, our homes, our rooms, our syndicates, our parties, our villages; in short, wherever we are.


We are all aware of the attempts being made to legitimize the unbelievable violence of law enforcement officers. We are faced with the fact that our friends who are expressing their constitutional rights are detained, arrested or missing, while those who committed crimes, with clear evidence pointing to them, are released. If those responsible for this violence think they can evade their responsibilities by “acquitting” the officers who carried out their illegal orders, they need to know that they are mistaken.

Abdullah Cömert, Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, and Ethem Sarısülük, who took to the streets for a more free and equal world, were victims of a brutality, hatred, and violence not even seen in times of war. With the violence during Ethem Sarısülük’s funeral still fresh in our memories, we have learned that the Riot Police officer who caused Ethem’s death at the prime of his life was released.

On 1 June, during the first week of the Gezi Park resistance, our proletarian friend Ethem Sarısülük was wounded in the head by a bullet fired from a police officer’s gun in Ankara’s Kızılay Square, in front of the whole world and cameras, while resisting for his rights and for his friends.

Ethem had neither helmet, vest nor gun. Ethem was there with us, his friends, peacefully claiming his rights. Labelling the violence carried out by police officers as self-defense is unacceptable.

We have all seen this brutality and the injustice that followed it, we are all witnesses. No investigations on the killers of Abdullah Cömert and Mehmet Ayvalıtaş, who lost their lives during the Gezi resistance,  have been started.

In this process when we expressed our demands to life, we have lost 5 of our lives, including one police officers, 11 people lost an eye, 1 person lost a spleen, 60 people were wounded heavily and two of them continue to be in critical condition, 103 people had head traumas,  8041 people were wounded, and 1 person lost his life after a heart attack caused by an intense tear gas attack. Though the government must work towards revealing and trying all those responsible for this violence, they instead try to suppress those who could not be silenced for days of police brutality through detainments and arrests.

The moment we decided to meet in Taksim to shout out our demands of justice in light of the fact that Ethem’s killers were released, we witnessed another cruel and unbelievable violence by the government.

Our fellow countrymen in Lice who were protesting the construction of additions to watch houses with demands of peace and democracy were shot at and according to the information we received from the media, our brother Medeni Yıldırım lost his life and many were wounded. These bullets were fired on all of us, on peace, fraternity, democracy, and our solidarity.

Against this violence and injustice which are signs of the powerful’s desperation and fear, we stand with our most simple, naked, and just selves;  with all the values and colors that make us, with unshakeable common sense, will to resist, perseverance, and extreme creativity, we continue to stand together in all places where life exists. We have not and will never give up on our demands and our gains.

We once again remind those who want us to forget and those who have not yet heard; we strongly and immediately demand that:

  • Any ban or physical restriction on meetings, gatherings or demonstrations affecting Taksim and Kizilay squares, as well as all other squares and public areas as well as restrictions on the right to free speech be lifted.
  • All those responsible for commanding, enforcing and perpetrating the repression of the democratic rights of the people to demonstrate, starting with those who stood up to the destruction of Taksim Gezi Park, and the violent crackdown that followed resulting in the injury of thousands, and five deaths should be unseated and brought to justice, starting with the governors and Police chiefs of İstanbul, Ankara, Hatay and Adana.
  • The use of agents such as tear-gas be prohibited.
  • That those who have been taken into custody due to their participation in the protests across the country be immediately released and that an official statement be made to state that they will not be charged.
  • That parks where we gather in moments of disaster be opened to the public immediately, starting with Gezi Park.

The detained, arrested, wounded, lost…

On Monday, 1 July 2013, we will meet in front of Çağlayan Court House (across C gate) with our petitions to declare “We are here and we take full responsibility of Gezi Park demonstrations.”

Hurray our solidarity

Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance.

Taksim Solidarity