International Human Rights Organizations and Dear Friends, Comrades, Press Members from all over the world;
This is an urgent call from human rights defenders, activists, NGOs, professional chambers, grassroots, neighbourhood associations and Istanbulites.
Since the 27th of May,Istanbulites from all social and political backgrounds and ages and from all over the city had been continuing a peaceful resistance in Gezi Park, the city's largest public park, soon to be demolished due to a renewal project. According to the project, decades old trees in the park will be cut down and a big mall in the replica of the once Ottoman Artillery Barracks (Topçu Kışlası)will be erected:
The police intervened in the park 3 times, each more violent than the other:
The first intervention was in the morning of May 28th, a crowd of about 50 protestors were tear gased
directly on their faces:
To give solidarity to the protestors, hundreds arrived in the evening and the occupation movement got larger. Right afterwards, the second intervention came early in the morning of May 30th at 5 am, the riot police set fire to the tents and tear gas and pepper sprays were used incessantly, causing serious injuries:
Against this inhumanity and extreme violence , the reaction was the occupation of the park, this time by thousands.
And this morning proved to be the culmination of violence and barbarism that no words can describe, with an unproportional use of force. The exit of the park was blocked, the group was thus locked in the park and was taken under the crossfire of tear gas and pepper bombs, choked to death.The only way was by breaking the walls and many were wounded:
At the moment brutal interventions against protestors continue, after the press call, while the group was leaving, it was pepper sprayed and tear gased once more!
At the moment, some of the group is in Divan Hotel at Elmadag.
Literally, almost all parts of Taksim (where Gezi Park is) is tear gassed and pepper gas sprayed especially the streets around Taksim are under clouds of gas
Dear friends, we need nothing else to add, the scenes talk themselves.
The resistance for democracy and human rights will not be terminated; we are determined to continue our struggle against a government determined to crush each and every oppositon, a government that can not tolerate even a peaceful opposition for saving trees. The Turkish government, has violated all international human rights conventions and mechanisms it is a party to.
Your valuable support and solidarity will indeed fortify our determination and resistance. Please share it, name it and shame it and blame it so that this insanity and brutality practiced against human rights defenders can be terminated through intrnational pressure.
CALL TO THE INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITEE
This is also a call to the IOC to take Turkey out of its list of 2020.
If Olympics means friendship, if Olympic Games mean peace and companionship, these videos are enough proof of how the government violates the ideals of Olympics. Having Istanbul on the list will be tantamount to pepper gasing these ideals.
In the name of solidarity and friendship
Urban Movements Istanbul / Habitat International Coalition