AKP rally in Ankara’s Sincan district was entitled as “Respect for the National Will.” Photo by Hurriyet News
Photo by Amnesty International
In the latest Amnesty’s short video blog, the Amnesty Turkey researcher, Andrew Gardner, reported from Gezi Park today that there had been no police intervention for the last 2 days. However, he noted that near the park there were scores of police “waiting along with water cannons and armed vehicles” in a very tense situation. Would Turkish authorities respect the rights of peaceful protesters to gather and express themselves?
Prime Minister Erdogan’s words had already indicated otherwise Prime Minister Erdogan declared today in front of mass rallies of his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) supporters in Ankara,
“Tomorrow we have a rally in Istanbul. I address the protesters at Taksim. Either they empty the park, or the security forces will know how to do it.”
Within an hour of this speech, according to the latest tweets by Andrew Gardner, police declared that any demonstration at Taksim Square was illegal. Police intervened, using water cannons and tear gas, not only in Taksim Square but also in neighboring parts of Istanbul despite the fact that there were many elderly in the crowd, along with families and children. More disturbing is that police is even trying to break into Divan hotel where the injured are being treated. In advance of another AKP rally in Istanbul’s Kazlıçeşme Square tomorrow, there are appalling images of extreme violence in Taksim Gazi Park.
This violence must stop RIGHT NOW.
Please send your tweets immediately to .@RT_Erdogan demanding that the violence must stop now, with hashtag #occupygezi and #siddetidurdurun. Suggested tweets are:
.@RT_Erdogan Stop police intervention in #Taksim now! @aforgutu
.@RT_Erdogan Protests in #Taksim Square have been peaceful. Stop the use of tear gas and water cannons on peaceful protestors. @aforgutu
Also add your voice right now in Amnesty’s global call on Turkish authorities to carry out investigation into the allegations of excessive and abusive use of force by police by clicking here!