« The Taksim Solidarity platform made a press statement in criticism of the conviction of eight people in Gezi retrial. Police intervened against the groups going to Cihangir, battering and detaining several people, including journalists » reports Evrim Kepenek in Bianet English.
« In a regime where courts hand down unlawful, arbitrary and inconsistent rulings without witnesses or evidence in line with the one man’s needs, we have turned into a country where democracy, separation of powers and the most basic Constitutional rights are disregarded… »
This was how the Taksim Solidarity platform criticized the ruling in the Gezi retrial, where Osman Kavala has been sentenced to aggravated life sentence for « attempting to overthrow the government » and Yiğit Ekmekçi, Mücella Yapıcı, Mine Özerden, Çiğdem Mater, Hakan Altınay, Can Atalay, Tayfun Kahraman have been sentenced to 18 years in prison.
Upon the call of the platform, a protest demonstration was held in front of the Chamber of Mechanical Engineers affiliated with the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).
Gathering in front of the chamber’s building yesterday (April 26), the protesters carried banners that read, « Darkness passes, Gezi remains » and « We defend Gezi » as well as the pictures of those killed during Gezi.
‘3.5 million joined Gezi’
Chamber of Architects’ İstanbul Branch Chair Esin Köymen read out the press statement on behalf of the Taksim Solidarity.
Summarizing the judicial processes and conviction of Osman Kavala and seven other defendants, Köymen said:
« We have become a country where at least 3.5 million people according to the police minutes, namely millions of people who came to Gezi, expressed support, sent messages, brought food, set up an infirmary, built a library, prepared an earth table, sang, performed theater plays, danced and even hugged the trees are attempted to be scared with ‘aggravated life sentences’.
« In a regime where courts hand down unlawful, arbitrary and inconsistent rulings without witnesses or evidence in line with the one man’s needs, we have turned into a country where democracy, separation of powers and the most basic Constitutional rights are disregarded.
We have become a country where the young people and environmental organizations that lay claim to the green and nature, to not only Gezi but also to Mount Ida, Cerattepe, Northern Forests and Lake Salda, are considered to be enemies.
« We have turned into a country where the murderers who massacred young people with police violence during Gezi resistance for laying claim to Gezi Park and saying, ‘Don’t meddle in my life’ are acquitted while the ones who stood up against this brutality are sentenced to prison.
‘We don’t raise a voice’
« We have become a country where the requests of women and LGBTI+s, who said out loud, ‘We are here, too’ during Gezi, are disregarded, they are murdered and prevented from raising their voices.
We have turned into a country where it is not desired that workers lay claim to their daily bread and villagers to their crops, where one is not allowed to question this system in which life is expensive and labor is cheap and the ones who raise their voices to demand their labor’s worth are regarded as traitors.
« We will claim the green, nature and resources of our country, primarily Gezi; we will not give up on the struggle for a democratic country until an objective and impartial justice system based on evidence is established.
« Until this unlawfulness, this arbitrariness, this remorselessness, this hostility end, until our friends are released, until they are acquitted in these trials which will go down in the world’s legal history as a black mark, we will keep on struggling and not leave our friends alone. »
Concluding the statement, Esin Köymen called on « all citizens who lay claim to the colorful and solidarity-based understanding of the Gezi Park in June 2013 and all institutions which become a source of hope for the country’s future to lay claim to the real history of Gezi. » She said:
« We will continue to be the stubborn, naughty and challenging kids, women and youth of Gezi. This is just the beginning, the struggle will continue. »
Detention in Cihangir
The groups marching from the Sıraselviler Street to Karaköy began chanting the slogans, « AKP will be brought to account before the people » and « Everywhere Taksim, everywhere resistance ».
Intercepting the group in the side-streets of Cihangir neighborhood, the police detained at least 20 people, including journalists.
Bianet English, April 27, 2022, Evrim Kepenek