Republican People’s Party (CHP) has staged sit-in protest with the motto “We want democracy, not State of Emergency” in city centers of 81 provinces of Turkey on the anniversary of April 16 Constitutional Amendment Referendum.
Deciding to organize the protest at Taksim Square in İstanbul, the CHP members encountered police prevention.
The law enforcers encircled the square with the barriers, Gezi Park was closed.
Police kept watch at all side streets leading to İstiklal Street.
Upon the police announcing that “You cannot stage a demonstration here, go in front of the French Embassy”, the group gathering behind the metro stating at Taksim Square staged the protest at the permitted area.
Kaftancıoğlu: State of Emergency has turned into an authoritarian regime
Slogans such as “Right, law, justice”, “Shoulder to shoulder against fascism”, “AKP will account to people” were chanted during the march.
CHP İstanbul Provincial Director Canan Kaftancıoğlu made a statement during the 1-hour sit-in, which started with the participation of CHP district organizations.
Kaftancıoğlu said that the State of Emergency, which has been in effect for 21 months, has become an instrument to oppress human rights, freedom of expression and all protests and demonstrations.
“The State of Emergency, which the AKP (Justice and Development Party) uses as a stick against the opposition, has gone beyond even this fascistic line, and turned into an authoritarian regime that puts all sections of society under pressure”.
“Putschists in suit against coups in combat boots”
Kaftancıoğlu said, “Those who came to power by promising that they would struggle against the coups in combat boots have turned into putschists in suit themselves.” Emphasizing that the abolishment of State of the Emergency is their primary demand, Kaftancıoğlu listed their other demands as follows:
“This system of fascism, where the law has been suspended, the parliament has been disregarded, the will of the nation has not been recognized and the MPs have been taken hostages, must be abolished.
“The policies of repression directed by the government against labor unions, professional chambers and unions as well as non-governmental organizations must come to an end.
“The powers of legislative, executive and judiciary, which have been unified at one chair by a civilian coup, must be placed again at their own separate seats as in the case of contemporary democracies.”
DİSK Chair Beko: We are in Maltepe on May 1
Apart from the district chairs of the CHP, the sit-in protest in Taksim was also attended by the Mayor of Şişli Hayri İnönü, the MPs of CHP Mahmut Tanal and Gürsel Tekin, the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) İstanbul Büyükkent Branch, Environmental Impact Assessment (ÇED) Board Secretary Mücella Yapıcı, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Chair Kani Beko and the DİSK Secretary General Arzu Çerkezoğlu.
DİSK Chair Kani Beko said, “As we are here today, we will also fill Maltepe Square on May 1". (TP/TK/SD)
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