Gezi detainees start hunger strike as prosecutor extends detention
ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
DHA PhotoAround 50 people who were detained in accordance with the Gezi Park protests started a hunger strike today as prosecutors extended detention periods, including those of Taksim Solidarity Platform members, amid strong public reaction.
Platform member Ali Çerkezoğlu is among those who have decided to stage the hunger strike to protest against the ongoing witch hunt against Gezi supporters, according to daily Radikal.
The crackdown on Gezi supporters witnessed police forces detaining seven members of the platform on July 8, including Mücella Yapıcı, who had taken part in a delegation representing protesters that met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as her daughter. Yapıcı’s residence was also searched by the police, along with eight others linked to the organization.
Yapıcı’s lasting detention despite her heart condition is also among the causes prompting the hunger strike, Radikal said.
The detentions quickly caused a backlash as organizations joined forces to raise their voices against the crackdown, with the Human Rights Association (İHD), unions and occupational chambers calling for the release of the solidarity members.
“It can be understood that the police are trying to intimidate people by detaining Solidarity Platform members. And even the detentions have not sufficed; the police conducted lengthy searches at the houses of those who were detained,” İHD said.
The association then called on officials to release the members who “were detained while exercising their right to demonstrate.”
Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) head Kani Beko also spoke against the detentions, accusing the ruling government of “unlawfulness and unfairness.”
“Be it through detentions, arrests or the searches, or the attitude toward organizations like the Chamber of Architects and Engineers (TMMOB), [the attitude] shows the unlawfulness and the unfairness of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government,” Beko said, referring to a late-night bill designed to crush TMMOB that was rushed through Parliament late on July 9.
The platform, which comprises over 100 nongovernmental associations, said 48 representatives and leaders of workers’ groups were detained on July 8 “without legal basis” and just to “oppress their democratic movement.”