Academics from abroad call for democracy
ISTANBULTurkish academics from abroad published a solidarity statement to show their support for the people peacefully protesting to protect Gezi Park in Taksim.
The petition at academicsforgezi.com, condemning the excessive police brutality that was inflicted on the protestors, reached more than a thousand signatures in a few hours.
Drawing attention to the excessive use of force by the police, the academicians “ask the Turkish government to immediately stop the police violence against the peaceful demonstrations in Gezi Park and other places around Turkey.”
Congruent with the demands of the Gezi Park protesters in Turkey, they “demand that Gezi remain a park; that continuing repression and police brutality end immediately; that the constitutional rights of those in custody be protected and their medical needs be met; that those who were taken into custody for exercising their right to peacefully and publicly protest be immediately released; that those responsible for the disproportionate use of police power and those who condoned the violence be held accountable; and that a participatory culture of democracy be established and sustained.”
Academics also emphasized the detention and blacklisting of thousands of people for expressing their opinions. While addressing the Turkish government to remind its obligations under international law to respect the basic rights of the people, academics state their anger as follows:
“The resistance movement in Gezi Park has created an atmosphere of open exchange and plurality in Turkey –an atmosphere, against which the increasing number of human rights violations, accompanied by a culture of fear and oppression, stands in jarring contrast. We are outraged by these violations. The oppression of women, LGBTQ communities, and minorities, together with the exploitation of the environment, are incompatible with democracy.”