June 18, 2013

Resistance And Repression Continue In Turkey

In the early morning hours Turkish police raided the offices of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), Özgür Radio, Etkin News Agency, Atılım newspapers and apartments of ESP members and leaders. Police showed up wearing ski masks and carrying rifles in at least some of the raids. Scores of people have been detained and police raids are expected to resume. Those detained cannot see their lawyers for a twenty-four hour period.
Some Turkish sources have said that members of the People's Democratic Congress (HDK), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and other organizations were also targets of police raids. These sources put the number of arrested in Istanbul at "over one hundred."

Firatnews.com has also said the following:

At least 30 people were taken into custody in Ankara as a result of police raids in 26 houses early Tuesday on the grounds of joining Gezi Park protests in the capital. Among those detained are members of Halkevleri, ESP and BDSP. The detainees will reportedly not be allowed to see their lawyers for 24 hours.

Four other people in the province of Malatya were also detained by police late Monday for joining the protests in solidarity with Taksim resistance.

Police also took thirteen people into custody in Eskişehir early Tuesday after thousands of people late Monday closed the way to traffic in front of Espark where hundreds had set up tents in solidarity with Gezi Park resistance. Police raided the park and forcibly removed the tents on Monday.

Meanwhile, theTurkish Doctors Union (TTB) has released a statement saying that at least four people have lost their lives and some 7,822 protesters have been injured in Gezi Park demonstrations and solidarity actions in thirteen cities across Turkey. The union statement says that this includes all police violence-related injuries up to June 17 at 6:00 PM local time. The following figures given in the statement show the depth and breadth of the on-going protests:

Istanbul: 4,477 injured. 21 gravely wounded. 1 dead. 4 still in critical condition. 6 lost eyesight. 6 suffered head trauma.
Ankara: 1,350 injured. 21 gravely wounded. 7 head traumas. 1 dead. 4 lost eyesight.
Izmir: 800 injured with 2 in critical condition.
Antakya: 161 injured with 3 in critical condition. 1 dead.
Adana: 162 injured with 6 in serious condition. 1 dead. 5 head traumas.
Eskişehir: 300 injured with 3 in serious condition. 2 still ICU.
Muğla: 50 injured with 1 serious condition.
Mersin: 17 injured with 1 in serious condition.
Bursa: 1 head trauma, 2 injured.
Balıkesir: 155 injured.
Kocaeli: 10 injured.
Antalya: 150 injured including 1 in serious condition.
Rize: 8 injured.

The addition of Jenix, a liquid tear gas or gas, to water cannons by the police during the weekend police repression no doubt accounts for many of the more serious recent injuries suffered by protesters. It can, after all, cause first-degree burns and affect respiration. One lawyer in Turkey has described its use by police as a “crime against humanity.”

Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu’s has said that this water is “not a chemical, but medicated water. Our citizens have gotten used to this water.” Jenix is most often used against Kurdish demonstrators in southern and southeastern Turkey.

Prime Minister Erdogan is desperately trying to shift the conversation to areas and topics which benefit the ruling party as questions of police repression and brutality keep surfacing or to change the subject entirely. He continues to blame “internal traitors and external collaborators” and social media companies for the rebellion and to threaten the passage of laws restricting the use of social media. He is also threatening the main opposition, likening the Republican People's Party leader to the leader of a terrorist organization.

Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş said today that the peace process between the Kurdish masses and the government is at risk. He is quoted by Hevallo as saying the following:

Demirtaş pointed out that this mentality of the government targeted not only Kurds but also all people in Gezi Park, Taksim, Kızılay and Dikmen. “Government officials are telling lies instead of understanding the spirit the Gezi Park resistance has manifested. People are still being subjected to raid operations very early morning, like members of the ESP (Socialist Party of the Oppressed) and SDP (Socialist Democracy Party).

The government shouldn't think these people are alone as we will be standing by them in the best way we can”, Demirtaş said and remarked that the prime minister wasn't aware of the public feeling of rebellion.

Remarking that it is now the government's turn to make a move, Demirtaş said “We can make no headway while thousands of politicians are still being held under arrest. We do not expect to reach a solution unless the government opens the way for democratic politics”.
Demirtaş criticized the prime minister for enabling free transportation for the people joining the AKP rally while brutally attacking the people who set up tents in the Gezi Park.
Demirtaş remarked that the Kurdish people will continue giving a struggle until their rights are guaranteed by constitutional assurance and an end is given to the repression imposed on the life of all peoples.



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