By LUIS G. JALANDONI
NDFP Chief International Representative
TO: Prime Minister Recip Tayyip ERDOGAN
TO: Interior Minister Erken ALA
TO: Minister of Justice Bekir BOZDAG
We hereby protest vehemently against the massive attacks and brutal violence of the Turkish police on the progressive forces.
Since June 2013, at least 11 people were killed by police operations targeted against political protests.
Recently, 307 workers were cruelly killed in the devastating “mine disaster” in Soma, due to government backed negligence of safety precautions and inspections.
While this largest mine disaster in the history of Turkey was correctly called a massacre by the unions, Prime Minister Erdogan cynically referred to it as “fate” and an “ordinary work accident”. Consequently this led to new national and international protests.
While the authorities have done nothing to investigate the murderous crime against 14-year old Berkin Elvan during Gezi protests and even hampered them, the repression and violence against democratic protests continues unabated. The number of police victims has increased again with the murder of Ugur Kurt and Ayhan Yilmaz, just a few days ago.
In the early morning of 26 May 2014, warlike police operations were performed in several neighbourhoods of Istanbul, especially in Okmeydani, Gazi and Kucuk Armutlu. 1,500 police forces participated in that operation. During their raids in clubs and apartments – including the Youth Federation – up to 14 persons were arrested in the most brutal manner throughout the day. Twelve members of the youth organization have been arrested yesterday at a protest for Berkin Elvan in Taksim.
These repressive measures in the given circumstances, raise the urgent suspicion that the government in Turkey wants to distract attention away from its political responsibility for the numerous human rights violations and deaths, and seeks to break the opposition against the AKP regime all over the country by all means available and to criminalize it.
The emphatically voiced demand for the conviction of the police forces, who claimed many human lives, is being answered with even more violence, repression and judicial persecution.
We call for an immediate end of police violence against government-critical forces and legal consequences for the members of police involved!
We call for the immediate release of those arrested during the police raids. We blame the political power, the ever more authoritarian AKP regime, which is shaped by police violence, massacres and discrimination, for any physical force feared of being exercised against the detainees in police custody.
LUIS G. JALANDONI
Chief International Representative
National Democratic Front of the Philippines