LOCAL > Demonstrators object to referendum idea, say they will remain in Gezi Park


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Taksim Solidarity Platform has made a public statement late on June 13. DHA photo

Taksim Solidarity Platform has made a public statement late on June 13. DHA photo

The demonstrators occupying Gezi Park to prevent a demolition project objected to the government’s referendum proposal and defied the warnings to evacuate the park on June 13, announcing that they intended to remain until “concrete steps” were made to meet their demands. 

“Gezi Park is life. We will continue to defend our vital rights everywhere and under every condition,” said a spokesman of the Taksim Solidarity Platform on behalf of the demonstrators.

CAn Atalay said that the court had already suspended with a ruling the construction of the historic barracks on the site. “Under normal conditions, ‘meeting of our demands’ is the government’s duty towards its citizens.”

However the group added that the discussion in terms of referendum was progress after the police raids. “We consider the government’s ending of threats and opening of a discussion on a ‘referendum’ as a step and a promise that there won’t be new casualties. But we unfortunately note that in the prime minister’s or spokesperson’s statements, the threatening language is still present,” the statement continued. 

The group insisted that their demand on keeping Gezi Park untouched and investigating those who were responsible for the heavy police repression and loss of life were legal and legitimate.  

They also recalled a speech from Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2009 when he said “The fundamental rights and freedoms cannot be subject to voting,” over the referendum on a ban on the construction of minarets on mosques. 

“You cannot put to a referendum the rights and freedoms, the freedom of belief and life of an individual,” Erdoğan had said back then.  

“For all those reasons, we will remain in Gezi Park as we came to sit in the first day, with our songs, books, tents, sleeping bags and all our demands,” Atalay said, adding that they expected more contributions from the media and intellectuals for concrete solutions. 

Following a meeting on June 12 between the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a group of eleven people representing the demonstrators, the government had suggested holding a referendum as an exit to the deadlock.


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Notice on comments

Optimus Innova

6/16/2013 7:22:52 AM

Referendumi is the only civilized way to resolve disputes. Look at example of UK, when local referendums are run on a regular basis before building parking, installing traffic lights, etc. Ali Karp, your example is both naive and irrelevant Rim on Tree, your post seems to be quoted from Cinese communists. My recommendation to you is to relocate to Russia or China and enjoy politics without referendum

mara mcglothin

6/14/2013 8:23:30 PM

Just look at all the children in this picture.

mara mcglothin

6/14/2013 6:13:06 PM

Rightly so because Hasn't RTE declared the AKP would form a new constitution whether the opposition parties agreed or not?????

Mehmet Ungrateful

6/14/2013 12:20:12 PM

Cheers on you and bravo for standing for your rights. I would not trust Erdogan one bit.

Rimon Tree

6/14/2013 8:51:56 AM

@ Optimus The refusal of the referendum only proves one thing: Absolutely nobody trusts Erdogan and his catchpoles and with good reason! He can onlyl dream of a presidency with unrestricted powers now! Cheers to the brave people and their brave mothers!

Ali Karp

6/14/2013 7:36:40 AM

Optimus Innova, you cannot put everything to vote. For example, if you wanted to legitimize the rape of the women with a referendum, at least here in the US it would not be accepted as a issue to be voted on. As for the motives of the people at Gezi, many explained why they are there. No need for conspiracy or other theories. Look for the HDN article "Violence ‘stoked’ Gezi anger".

6thangle S

6/14/2013 2:10:05 AM

This is a park not a right issue, all over the world human build cities by cutting trees or changing natural environment. May be they can try to live like their ancestor hanging from the tree !! They are anti democratic minority mob who are afraid of mass people opinion even for a development project but want to impose their own authority through vandalism. They should accept it with open hand as an opportunity to show their real support among people but they know they will lose.

Optimus Innova

6/14/2013 12:27:09 AM

Their refusal to accept a referendum only proves that the real motives are different from their declarations... What a waste of time and resources. What a pleasure for the hypocritical Europe and US...

Misses Ataturk

6/13/2013 10:11:05 PM

Yes!!! Go Taksim Solidarity Platform!!! We are with you all the way!! Be strong! Stay safe!


6/13/2013 10:03:47 PM

Well, perhaps Tayyip meant the rights and beliefs of one individual ... Tayyip.
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