Thousands attend demonstration on peace in Istanbul
Cihan PhotosThousands gathered for a demonstration in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district on Aug. 9, to call for peace in an event organized by the Peace Bloc, which consists of around 80 civil society organizations and is supported by the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and some deputies from the Republican People’s Party (CHP).
People started to gather at the Bakırköy demonstration area for the meeting, which was attended by HDP co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yüksekdağ and CHP deputy Oğuz Kaan Salıcı.
Speaking at the demonstration, Demirtaş said the demonstration was being held because people do not want to see their children killed in a way conducted by the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Demirtaş said the groups who came for the demonstration were determined to bring peace to the country and to prevent the country from going back to the 1990s, when clashes between the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish army were at their deadliest.
Police deployed water cannon known as TOMAs to the demonstration ground.
Demirtaş called on all mothers of members of the Turkish security forces to object to the government and say they did not raise their children to give them away for a war desired by the AKP and “the person living in the palace,” referring to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Demirtaş said they did not fear going to the ballot box once again for an early election, if that was what the AKP forced upon the populace.
“We will make them sorry for wanting to go to early polls,” Demirtaş said. “Are you ready for this?” he asked the crowd listening to him in Bakırköy.
Demirtaş called on Davutoğlu to stop giving the HDP orders from Ankara, adding that Davutoğlu and the AKP should put a stance between themselves on arms and war.
Demirtaş also asked Davutoğlu how they asked the HDP to account for “terrorist attacks” when it was the AKP which was actually supporting the attacks. To support his claims, Demirtaş gave the examples of the massacres of Zergele, Uludere and Suruç.
He said the Peace Bloc must be the biggest political bloc against the AKP for peace to prevail.
Meanwhile, some roads in Istanbul leading to the area where the demonstration was held was blocked from noon on Aug. 9 due to safety precautions.