Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Demands of the Taksim Platform

The Taksim Platform met today with deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç. The demands of the platform are:

"To the government of the Turkish Republic and to the public,

Since the attempted demolition of Taksim Gezi Park on 27th May around 22.30 o'clock and the following police violence against demonstrators, citizens have been expressing their democratic reaction particularly in Taksim/Istanbul, as well as in the whole country. First of all we would like to declare our compassion with the families of the demonstrators who lost their lives, and hope that the people who are injured will get healthy as soon as possible.

Unfortunately the government keeps on trying to repress the very right to demonstrate peacefully and democratically through force, oppression and prohibition. We are endeavouring to develop a social atmosphere in which any citizen can express his/her democratic demands without being injured and oppressed.

Thus, we are expecting the government to take concrete actions immediately to realize our following requirements:

- Gezi Park should remain as park. The government should officially announce that the project to rebuild the area is stopped and guarantee that neither historical military barracks, nor any other construction will be built.

- The attempts and projects to demolish the Atatürk Kültür Merkezi should be stopped immediately.

- Those responsible for the violent prevention of demonstrations, use of excessive force by the police, injuries of thousands of people and for the death of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş and Abdullah Cömert who were using their basic democratic rights to protest, particularly the governors and the chiefs of police of Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay should be removed from office.

- The use of gas bombs and similar means should be prohibited.

- Citizens who have been taken into custody because they used their right to protest should be freed immeditaely. The government should guarantee that there will be no investigation.

- The prohibition of meetings and demonstrations particularly in Taksim and Kızılay Squares that are at the same tame official squares for May Day demonstrations, and in all other public squares, and constraints to freedom of speech should be abolished.

Additionally, we think that the authorities should perceive the content, soul, expectations and demands of the demonstrators that fill our places and streets since the 27th of May. Trying to explain the whole process with only one word, 'extremism' or 'radicalism' means to ignore it. It should be clear that many young and old citizens, women and men feel that their private lives are being controlled and insulted which has manifested itself once more in the intervention in Gezi Park. People are responding: ''We are here and we have needs and demands."

We are transmitting to the rulers that the content of this reaction implies the also the plundering of ecological values particularly in form of the third bridge to the Bosphorus, hydroelectric power stations and the draft law concerning the protection of nature and biological diversity; the attitude toward war policies in our country and region, and the emphasis of peace; the rights of our Alevi citizens; the fair requirements of the victims of the urban transformation process; the voice which is being raised against the control over women's bodies through a conservative patriarchal mentality; the rights and requirements of Turkish Air Lines workers, as well as all workers; the struggle against discrimination against any sexual orientation and identity; the access of all citizens to health and education services.


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