Declaration on the protests in Gezi Park

Meeting of the SI Council in Istanbul, Turkey, 11-12 November 2013

The Socialist International acknowledges that the Gezi Park protests marked a turning point in Turkish politics, demonstrating the rising power and importance of civil society in favour of democracy and fundamental freedoms. The SI regrets that the authorities have responded to these peaceful demonstrations by the use of disproportionate force, resulting in the deaths of a number of young people and the wounding of thousands of others.

SI expresses its solidarity with the young generation of Turkey, in their demands for democracy, freedom and an end to interference by the government and state in their way of life.

SI further supports the following demands of Taksim Solidarity:

  1. Gezi Park must stay as a park

  2. Those responsible for the violence against peaceful demonstrators must be brought to justice.

  3. Teargas and similar chemical agents must be prohibited.

  4. Citizens detained should receive a fair trial and be released.

  5. Freedom of assembly and the right to peaceful demonstrations must be fully respected without hindrance by the authorities.

In this context the SI recalls that the continuing imprisonment of elected members of Turkish Parliament is a direct contradiction of the very notion of democracy and a violation of the rights of the people to elect and to be elected. The SI calls on the Turkish authorities to obtain the immediate release of imprisoned members of parliament by following appropriate legal procedures.