A delegation of the Party of the European Left has arrived to Istanbul to know on the ground the demands of the Turkish people

(Brussels, June 10th 2013) A delegation of the Party of the European Left (EL) is currently in Turkey to know first-hand how the situation is in the country after a week of enormous demonstrations and extreme repression by the security forces.

The trigger for the protests was the project of construction of a large shopping centre in a public and flagship Park that, followed by the police action and the Government-allied media blackout, leading an already tensed environment with latent discontent of the population to explode. The riots have spread to 67 provinces and two major trade union confederations have joined the democratic demands with general strikes of 48 hours. The demonstrators also demanded the release of the imprisoned protesters, who arrived at the scene.

The demonstrators, victims of a brutal repression by the security forces, today demand more rights and freedoms which have been cut back by the moderate Islamist government of Prime Minister Erdogan.

Erdogan, of the AKP Party, which is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, governs with an increasingly authoritarian character: Inwards, with a repressive policy imposing an Islamic moral system of life. Outwards, with an increasingly interventionist policy and allied with the United States, as it is demonstrating with its economic and military aid to the mercenary forces of the so-called “Free Army of Syria”.

The EL-delegation is formed by two members of the Secretariat and two members of the leadership of Syriza, from Greece – neighbours of Turkey. During the visit, the representation, in addition to transmitting the support to the democratic claims of the society, will meet, among others, with the Freedom and Solidarity Party (member of the EL), unions, organizations of youth and women and with the Kurdish minority in order to listen to its analysis of the situation and its claims.
At the end of the visit, the delegation will inform regarding the conclusions elaborated after all these meetings.
A group of comrades of the Party of Freedom and Solidarity (ÖDP), the Turkish member party of the EL and other activists, met the delegation of the Party of the European Left in Taksim Square. They asked to transmit a message to the people in Europe:

“These squares from Madrid and TahRir in Cairo, Syntagma in Athens, Taksim in Istanbul and many others are showing us: Diversity is possible!The change of an authoritarian government through the action of the people is possible! We have shown that people can cross bridges. And we do not only mean the 23km march from the Asian side of Istanbul to Taksim Square.

People realise: they can do more than they used to believe. – No more excuses!
It can be over tomorrow or any time soon, and then we go back to our neighbourhoods, the university or our jobs.
But we will have big chances there to organise for political and legal changes. Because of these squares! Because what people experienced there! We have many opportunities to expand the boarders of our existing organisations. People will realise: It is not enough to act on the concept of nation. It is not enough to take the Turkish flag to the squares.
Nothing’s going to be the same any more. Give us a chance!”

European Left Party