Taksim Solidarity came up as a response to the attacks by the police and the security forces on peaceful demonstrators in more than 77 cities and towns in Turkey.
It consists of 117 organisations and other independent activists, thinkers, artists, professionals, etc., who have gathered together to fight the destruction of Gezi Park. Initially, the Government did not call Taksim Solidarity in the talks to discuss the Gezi Park protests with the PM, Erdogan. After protests by the participants who had been invited to the talks, Taksim Solidarity has finally been invited and participated in the talks. It is understood that the Government has agreed to stop their activities on Gezi Park pending a decision by the Court. While the spokesperson of the group has said the discussions were positive, a final decision is yet to be taken by Taksim Solidarity on the continuation of the struggle in its present form.
“Basic rights and freedoms cannot be held to voting. A person’s human rights and liberties, a society’s, a people’s freedom of life, of faith cannot be held to a referendum”
-Recep Tayyip Erdogan, December 1st, 2009. AKP Group Meeting.
Within the framework of our Constitution and international agreements of which our country is also a signatory, it is perfectly clear that the right to live within a healthy environment and demands of fundamental liberties cannot be made subjects of a referendum by any means. The solidarity process that has become identified with Gezi Park we are living through today, is a social expression of these rights and demands.
That is the reason why we are saying, one more time, that “the fulfillment of our demands” is the government’s duty towards the citizen under normal legal circumstances. Besides, the court has decided to stop the execution of the said project. The Solidarity is only insisting on reminding the government of this duty.
In that sense, we see and would like to see the government’s leave of a language of intimidation and start of a discussion on a “referendum” instead of police raids, gas bombs and pressured water as a step and promise to stop new deaths. However, we regret to observe that the language of intimidation ensues in the statements made by the government spokespeople and the PM.
These statements make obvious that “referendum” is an empty term that cannot be meaningfully filled. In addition, it has become clear with the statements of the Head of the State Council and the PM that the referendum on this issue does not have legal quality. That is why we repeat that the real agenda is taking concrete steps towards our demands rather than the feasibility of the referendum or its exact implementation.
As a part of these steps, upon the complaints on the processes, Turkish Ombudsman Institute consulted Taksim Solidarity within their investigation. In addition, they stated that individual applications would also be accepted.
The conflict between the ones who claim their park and their right to life and the ones who favor concretization should not be transformed into a conflict between the ones who refuse referendum and the ones favor it. It should be realized that an atmosphere of political parties calling for demonstrations in favor of the referendum and the society is being antagonized is extremely dangerous.
Not a single person came to the Gezi Park with this demand or expectation in their minds. None among the thousands of young people or women, who have been staying in tents and gassed at 5 AM, have pursued such a purpose. Hundred thousands of people did not fill the Gezi Park and the Taksim Square for days just to hear this word. The attacks, which resulted in deaths and over a thousand injuries, did not take place in order to have a referendum. In the face of the attacks, when people spill out into the streets in 77 cities all around the country crying out “Don’t touch the youth, we want freedom”, referendum was never on the agenda.
The demands and the expectations of the squares are crystal clear, simple, humane, legal and legitimate…
The warning of the European Parliament regarding the legality of these expectations is very clear. Any step towards the fulfillment of the demands is extremely valuable and should be considered with great caution.
An investigation and deposal of the officials responsible for the police violence would be a much more realistic and easy first step serving the societal peace.
Therefore, we expect first from the government and then from all the other officials to dedicate their energies and authority to intensify on other solutions, which would not antagonize the society. Instead of initiating ambiguous and dilatory processes that would result into differentiation, we want quick and consequent steps to be taken.
We hope that a dialog can be initiated recognizing “TAKSIM SOLIDARITY” that reflects the feelings of thousands of our citizens and addresses the demands that people speak up in every square. We call each and every democratic institution; artist, intellectual and the media continue to contribute the resistance in order to take serious steps towards the realization of people’s demands.
With all these motives, as we have been sitting in the park from the very first day, we will be here with our songs, with our books and poems; with our sleeping bags and mates and with our DEMANDS.
WE are HERE, as we have been for 17 days!
We continue to defend our life, our basic rights of life
everywhere and under all circumstances!
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