Let me say now what I will say at the end: This bill of indictment, in essence, is the most recent example of the effort to smear one of the most dignified social actions that took place in these lands, in the history of Turkey.
This bill of indictment is a ragbag, it is a new example of how, for many years now, criminal procedure has been transformed into a simple tool to hold sway over political and social life.
We have not understood what the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office understands when it writes about constitutional order. For the prosecutor, the constitutional order is only about Article 8 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey. The bill of indictment shows no interest in other components of the constitutional order, and neither does it show interest in, or comment on, the obligations of the government.
When we talk about the constitutional order, will we not talk about Article 25, Article 28, Article 33 and Article 34?
(Article 25: Freedom of thought and opinion. Article 28: Freedom of the press: The press is free, and shall not be censored. Article 33: Rights and Freedoms of Assembly. Freedom of Association. Article 34: Right to Hold Meetings and Demonstration Marches.)
When we talk about the constitutional order, will we not talk about the right everyone has to hold demonstration marches without prior permission, about the right to housing, the right to a healthy environment, or the right to social security?
Will we talk about the fact that we are being accused of dissent to Code No. 2863 for the Protection of Cultural and Natural Properties, without mentioning Article 63 of the Constitution? Mücella Yapıcı has spent almost her entire life protecting cultural and natural properties.
(Article 63: Conservation of Historical, Cultural and Natural Wealth)
The bill of indictment is deficient, it is a ragbag, there is a fundamental problem of methodology about it. And this is the kind of indictment the prosecutor’s office has come up with to ask for a sentence of aggravated life imprisonment for us. Yet here, in the prosecutor’s own thesis, the element regarding the use of force and violence is so weak, that the indictment assigns the blame for all the broken frames and windows across Turkey, and the animals killed (as a result of the use of gas by security forces) to us. If you were to charge us with a mixture of all the crimes Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code lists for the use of force and violence, we would get a sentence of around 30-50 years, and some of us would leave prison in old age, or not at all.
The soft approach you (the panel of judges) displayed yesterday (the first day of the hearing) does not remove the weight of this bill of indictment. We are witnessing here how the judiciary is being instrumentalized in order to intervene in social life. I know how the Fethullahist gang did this. I am aware of the danger we face. A prosecutor demanding an aggravated life sentence, if he is a graduate of the faculty of law, cannot demand an aggravated life sentence for us, for Taksim Solidarity, if the requirements stated in Clause 2 of Article 7 of the Anti-Terror Law are not met. Can you show, among the pages-long-list of tweets or press statements in the bill of indictment, a single one which involves the crime described in Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law? No, you cannot. You cannot show a single example. And when the element of force and violence that would constitute the crime in Article 7/2 of the Anti-Terror Law, you cannot say that Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code has been violated.
When you say, “You committed a crime against the government” you must at least discuss the Law no. 2911 on Meetings and Demonstrations. Mücella Yapıcı was acquitted of this charge. But you must discuss this: How did it begin? On 27 May, on 31 May, how did it begin? Was 2911 violated since that day? Did the qualified conditions of the crime take place? No!
Because the construction was illegal! It was in breach of the development plan! They call it a pedestrianization project, yet they forget to include a pedestrian footpath! One night, with our worker brothers who worked with the subcontractor company of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, they tried to uproot the trees there.
On the morning of 28 May, 50 men, whose identity still remains unknown, attacked everyone, and that’s what people objected to. The electrical wiring was damaged, there is no mention of that. There is no mention either of the security forces who, after the subcontractor company’s workers, attacked the people; yet we are charged with Article 312 of the Turkish Penal Code.
Following the announcement of the bill of indictment, the prosecutor’s office talked a lot about us and our lawyers. We can talk, but forces of the state cannot talk about people who are being tried with aggravated life imprisonment, and especially not by misinformation.
After we learned about the bill of indictment, the prosecutor’s office made a fraudulent statement regarding us, and via us, about the Gezi Resistance, saying, “We, judges who are members of the Fethullahist gang, have made a re-evaluation on the basis of the prosecutor’s wiretapping decisions”. This phrase, re-evaluation, is not acceptable. Nowhere in the Code of Criminal Procedure No.2711 is this expression, re-evaluation, used. Article 1 of the Code of Criminal Procedure No.2711 states, “This Code regulates rules about how to conduct criminal proceedings as well as the rights, powers and obligations of individuals who take part in this procedure”. So where did you get this right which has not been defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, how did you make up this power and where do you get the courage to trample on your obligation to abide by law?
So what is it that the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office (in other words, the Ministry of Justice) is re-evaluating?
The prosecutor tells us, regarding a social incident of such high importance, to people who state with honour that they were part of it, who for not a single day denied that they were part of Taksim Solidarity, “The investigation regarding you began on 15 June 2013”. This is an incident that began on 27 May, and turned into a different type of crisis following heavy police violence on 28 May… We spoke about the gravity of events every day. From 27 May on, we spoke to police every day, we tried to tell police chiefs, at all costs, that what they were doing was wrong, we were there. No one can have us believe that the investigation began on June 15.
The first action in this file does not begin in Istanbul. It begins with an official letter dated 15 June 2013, on “The Gezi Park Incidents” sent by Mehmet Yeşilkaya, 1st Degree Police Chief, Head of the Department of Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime of the Interior Ministry General Directorate of Security, to the Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate Anti-Organized Crime Branch Directorate. This letter is received by Nazmi Ardıç at the Istanbul Provincial Security Directorate. This is one of two official bodies where the Fethullahist gang was most organized. There is an unsigned, 11-page analysis report presented as the appendix of this letter. You say you have “re-evaluated” but the summary of this indictment is an unsigned report prepared by a collaboration of the Fethullahist gang and the AKP. The bill of indictment begins with a repeat of this analysis report, and it is constructed upon this report. This bill of indictment is a pages-long effort to justify this unsigned piece of paper, and that is all…
In the same way that you failed to understand, or pretended not to understand the Gezi resistance, just like the AKP and the Fethullahist gang, you have failed to understand, or pretended not to understand Taksim Solidarity as well…
Why don’t we talk about Article 135 of the Constitution?
Professional organizations with public institution status are established in order to meet the common needs of individuals who practice a certain profession, to facilitate their professional activities, to enable the development of the profession in line with general interests, and in order to establish truthfulness and trust between members of the profession and with the public. In other words, bar associations, all chambers affiliated with the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), in terms of their services, are institutions of local administration. They are constitutional institutions, just like the government, or the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality of the period. I may not like the constitutional order, I may demand an egalitarian, libertarian constitutional order. But the current constitutional order says, “Whatever the Chamber of Urban Planners is, the Beyoğlu Municipality is the same”. You cannot accuse the objections of these constitutional institutions, or the ways in which they participate in and supervise state government.
Following practices embodying neoliberalism that emerged in the aftermath of the 12 September 1980 military coup d’état, and since the change made in 1994 to the Administrative Jurisdiction Procedures Law, there have been attempts to obstruct professional organizations from protecting public interest. One of the most important steps of this ideological campaign against the public good was the Constitutional Referendum in 2010. Following this referendum, all the critical positions in the judiciary were completely surrendered to Fethullahists. After the last obstacle blocking the path of the Fethullahist gang in criminal procedure was lifted in 2010, not only criminal jurisdiction, but also administrative jurisdiction began to collapse before our eyes.
Mr. Judge, can objecting to nuclear energy be described as a crime?
Your efforts to find fault with what we did against the usurpation of our right to health, against the commercialization of water resources, against the seizure of our right to farm are in vain. Yes, we did all that. There is no crime in any of them, and they cannot be qualified as a crime here, either!
If today, the effort to hand over Haydarpaşa Train Station to profiteers has failed, and it still remains a station waiting for its trains, that is thanks to the struggle of Haydarpaşa Solidarity. Is that a crime? Is it a crime in Turkey to protect the public good?
In brief, the Chamber of Architects and the Chamber of Urban Planners made a call to all citizens and the legitimate organizations of citizens to protect the public good. They said, “Come, let us protect the last common public green space in the city centre, the last post-disaster assembly area”. The real motivation of the prosecutor is to smear the Gezi resistance. The prosecutor wants to smear the common decision of millions of people, and their word regarding the future of this country.
Although ministries use various forms of funding, the bill of indictment criminalizes the use of funding. A “project” involving Mr. Prosecutor attending the hearing here and his colleagues carrying out their duty “more rapidly and effectively” is financed with funding; however, while the Ministry of Justice so openly uses funding, it seeks to investigate the use of funding by others.
Using funds is not a crime, that’s all there is to say.
But more importantly, the bill of indictment says: “Gezi was financed with funds.”
There is no evidence that a single blind penny has entered my pocket, or Tayfun Kahraman’s, or Mücella Yapıcı’s.
An attempt to explain on the basis of foreign money the objection and resistance of millions of people in 80 cities on the streets and in the squares, this shameless smear, has nothing to do with the truth whatsoever.
The Gezi Resistance is the child of this country; it is the magnificent fruit of the common labour of the people of these lands.
On the other hand, the Chamber of Architects and the Chamber of Urban Planners, who assumed the secretariat of Taksim Solidarity, are affiliated with TMMOB under Law no. 6235. And according to TMMOB’s general assembly resolution, not a single penny of funding can be used.
I repeat, it is no crime to use funding. But no one has the right to depict those who took to the streets during the Gezi Resistance as “a poor lot benefiting from funding”!
Do you think we did not know that they would target us after Gezi? Weren’t they already whispering it in our ear?
Was Taksim Solidarity the first?
For instance, Tekel Solidarity… The Chamber of Architects stood up against the handing over of a plot of land that belonged to Tekel to an investment group close to the government. “We won’t allow this,” it said.
This was how Tekel Solidarity was established. And Haydarpaşa Solidarity, too, in a similar manner.
Can it be a crime for us to protect the Northern Forests?
The Istanbul Environmental Plan, also referred to as Istanbul’s Constitution, describes everything that expands the north of the city as a betrayal.
This is a plan dated 2009. Can it be a crime for us to protect the Northern Forests, or the Atatürk Cultural Centre?
Is it a crime to oppose it, when Turkey’s public assets, because of the greed of a single person, are abandoned to their fate and then demolished? We saw how the Atatürk Cultural Centre was abandoned to rack and ruin.
Can it be a crime for us to protect the ferries?
Can democracy only be about the ballot box? And sometimes it is not even that. Can democracy be forced into the ballot box? Is the ballot box the only way in which to participate in state government?
By filing cases, collecting signatures, writing petitions, making calls, holding talks and by objecting on the street we try to participate in state government.
Last year, in all capitalist metropolises, in almost all Europe’s capitals, high-school students halted education, and went on a school strike for climate, in order to draw attention to the global climate crisis. Did anyone even imagine accusing them of overthrowing the constitutional order by force and violence?
Democracy is a whole, with all its institutions, organizations and rules. It cannot be reduced merely to the ballot-box. Democracy is a whole, it is indivisible.
Honourable Panel of Judges, the Gezi resistance can, in essence, be summarized by two main concepts.
The Gezi resistance is a founding will. It is the will of a different life, of the re-establishment of democracy, of how democracy should be, a different life where money is not set as the sole value. The Gezi resistance is an objection movement. It is an objection movement based on the use of constitutional democratic rights.
Why is Taksim important? Taksim is Istanbul’s, or rather, Turkey’s square.
It is the Square of Labour and Republic. Its official name bears significance.
People want to live their joy and sadness in this square, Turkey’s square. Until it was banned, Police Day, and football league championships used to be celebrated here. Now, Police Day still gets the square, while all others get violence.
Some squares have the qualities that make them a square taken away.
Sultanahmet Square, for instance… Taksim Square was important at all social gatherings. In 1969, at the rally held to demand that Turkey severe its ties with imperialism, first, two workers, Ali Turgut Aytaç and Duran Erdoğan were murdered there, when those, who had adopted the US Sixth Fleet as their direction to pray towards, attacked them. After the Massacre of May 1 (1977), on its 30th anniversary, the decision to gather at Taksim on every May Day was declared, and for years, millions of people flowed to Taksim.
Space is important everywhere in the world. The AKP is not alone in its effort to expel dissident voices of objection away from the city centre. All neoliberal leaders, past and present, seek to expel the opposition from the city centre.
Taksim Gezi is the last green public space in the city centre, a post-disaster assembly area, the only empty site in the neighbourhood, a space which makes it possible for different social classes to meet in the city centre, a home to the homeless, a place where you can spend time without having to spend money. Gezi is a refutation of concretization, of the subjection of space to the order of capital.
The Gezi resistance began with the words, “you cannot cut this tree down”, and went on to draw a line of NO PASARAN, you shall not pass, against police violence and those who wanted to turn citizens into “subjects”.
I would like to thank the prosecutor’s office for deeming us so skilful. I am happy to be a participant.
On the 28th [of May] they had workers from the subcontractor company and security forces attack us. On the 30th, the dawn raid, and it is merely good fortune that no one died on 31 May. By the evening of 31 May, every single citizen had brought their own objection to the city square, to Turkey’s square. There is no other example in the history of Turkey where so many different sections of society stood side by side and became sisters and brothers.
It is so interesting that, as the right to unionize was removed in Turkey in the last decade, so many workers’ actions took place, but the papers didn’t write about them, and the TV channels didn’t show them…
One of the most important reasons for the dazzling progress of the women’s emancipation movement is this situation in the last decade before 2013.
The words of women, “My body, my choice. No one but me dare speak about my body”…
Pride Parade, the pride march realized by LGBTI people with more and more people taking part every year, actions for animals’ rights, actions against the internet ban…
There was such a huge reaction building…
The AKP government is not the only example of neoliberal governments. They all harm their own citizens and the common gains of the people. The AKP is a special case, because it appropriates religion. It is a form of neoliberal authoritarianism that tries to run capitalism through its appropriation of religion.
What about Gezi’s founding aspect?
Gezi has a founding character. It is a tangible sign about how democracy should be.
Gezi is a founding event that shows there is a different world against the world where capital, based solely on money, is presented as the only value.
It is not for nothing that Gezi has been described as a “commune”.
The bill of indictment says “they sent sandwiches”. I ate the most beautiful böreks [pastries], the best dolmas
I ate in my life at Gezi. Those handmade böreks were not funded by Osman Kavala.
It is not up to Kavala, or Mücella Yapıcı, or Can Atalay to finance Gezi!
Do you know how many people suffered head traumas on the first day of Gezi?
No one does. According to the early statement of the Turkish Medical Association, more than 1,500. The result of shots targeted at the neck, or the head… That’s the kind of risk people took to come.
Most cases involving the loss of an eye took place on the first two days. That’s the kind of risk people took to come.
Excuse my phrasing but: How can such a thing even happen?
People made a vegetable garden and began to plant seedlings on the lower part of Gezi Park, on the edge of Asker Ocağı Street. Do you know how many urban vegetable gardens were set up after Gezi?
The prosecutor’s office didn’t even check.
The Occupy movement raised its objection in the heart of imperialism. No one thought of charging them with changing the Constitutional order by force.
Young people who refused to enlist during the Vietnam War, those who protested Israel’s occupation of Palestine…
Are those acts crimes?
There is also mention of the Arab Spring.
Wasn’t the AKP government the greatest supporter of the Arab Spring? Wasn’t the AKP first to declare its first support in Tunisia, and in Egypt? Wasn’t it Erdoğan who said, regarding Libya, “What is it to France? We will send in our army”?
We were here during the Gezi resistance. As for Erdoğan, he was in Tunisia, as a guest of Ennahdha at the time… Are they making fun of us?
We continued to do everything we could for the public good.
Could an objection to the building of Gökkafes [*a skyscraper in central Istanbul] on a green space allocated by Abdul Hamid to all residents of Istanbul constitute a crime?
In the 1/25 scale second bridge plan, it is said that the first bridge did not benefit Istanbul. For the third bridge, they said, “The science of urban planning has made great progress, it won’t be the same for the third bridge”. Anyhow, I still think those who said, “A Bridge over River Zab” were right. [*In 1969, when the building of the first bridge over the Bosphorus was being debated, a group of revolutionary youth built a bridge across River Zab, in Hakkari in the southeast of Turkey, with the slogan, “Not a bridge over the Bosphorus, but a bridge over River Zab!”. The bridge would be called Devrimci Gençlik Köprüsü, the Revolutionary Youth Bridge.]
Nuclear energy is one of the worst things anyone has done to Turkey.
Is it conceivable that the resistance of the villagers in Bergama was charged? They were tried for being German spies, and acquitted.
Then what happened? Bergama became one of the most fertile areas handed over to the Fethullahist gang. In order to make the Fethullahists rich, they razed all the objections of the people there to the ground.
The Cerattepe resistance after Gezi…
I have noted down many names. That is what being a lawyer in Turkey is about. The lawyer’s profession has always held an important role in social opposition in Turkey. Our tradition is a source of pride for Turkey. I had brought my list down to a single name, but I must remember and commemorate Gülçin Çaylıgil. She acted as lawyer in all cases involving freedom of thought and expression, junta periods included, and never bowed to anyone, and that is how she passed away from this world. Tahir Elçi was murdered with a bullet just when he was saying, “Do not cause harm to the Four-Legged-Minaret”.
The lawyer’s profession has always occupied an important position in all social struggles in Turkey. This is both because of the conditions Turkey is in, and the strength of our profession’s tradition. This is the lawyers’ tradition that I belong to. We work as lawyers not in order to make money, but to do what we believe is right, and to contribute to social struggles. Like that slogan of 1908, like the millions who stood against oppression: Equality, freedom, sisterhood/brotherhood and justice…
The prosecutor has included a part of the work I have done as the lawyer of the Chamber of Architects in the indictment.
Let me go over them:
In 2004 we said, “NATO is against the law, and we are lawyers against NATO”. We tried to stand with our intellectuals lynched at the entrance of courtrooms, and with our people sprayed with pepper gas. In 2009, we did not want the IMF to hold its meeting in Istanbul. I say all this because we are being accused with imperialism, as you have taken note. We acted as lawyers of all citizens whose rights were violated.
It is not the addressee of the matter, but it made itself so, yet the fact that it has been elected does not give the government the right to violate the Constitution, instrumentalize the judiciary and trample on the gains humanity has acquired over centuries.
Law is not a can-opener!
The slogan, “Government –Resign!” was not among the demands.
But in that summer of 2013, the slogan, “Government –Resign!” was thoroughly welcome to everyone! The slogan, “Government –Resign!” became the way in which people from all political views and all languages in Turkey became sisters and brothers. Every elected government is elected knowing that it will, one day, go. Chanting this slogan is not “changing the constitutional order by force”.
As I said before, democracy is a whole, it is indivisible.
The bill of indictment also speaks of “practicing shirk against the constitutional order”.
Practicing shirk [*a religious term used to describe the sin of worshipping anyone other than God] is not a concept of commercial law, or of penal law, or of constitutional law. Practicing shirk is a religious concept.
At the 17 August earthquake, we, the Gezicis, the çapulcus, run there to act.
We displayed great solidarity. We lifted rocks, we carried packages of aid, we were involved in search and rescue and no one said, “You are practicing shirk against the constitutional order”. We fulfilled our duty as citizens. The Gezi resistance is the most important social experience of this country. Gezi is the rupture of the fault line of the tension accumulated in Turkey. We did not break that fault line. We did everything we could against the tension.
So, regarding those who run to the earthquake area when the natural fault line ruptures, will you say that they are practicing shirk against the constitutional order when the social fault line breaks? In the same manner that it is impossible to describe the solidarity displayed during a natural disaster as “practicing shirk against the constitutional order” it is the same when a social fault line ruptures. In the same way that it is not practicing shirk against the constitutional order if you erect tents at an earthquake zone, help in the setting up of an emergency hospital and lift out bodies from under the rubble, writing a statement to enable students to attend national exams at the time when a social fault line is broken is not practicing shirk against the constitutional order.
Is it possible to reduce the Gezi resistance down to Taksim Solidarity?
Taksim Solidarity acted as an interpreter, without making any call to violence whatsoever. But we cannot reduce a set of circumstances where millions of people took to the streets down to Taksim Solidarity, that is not the reality of Taksim Solidarity.
There is a part in the bill of indictment about the service of a verdict, the learning of a court ruling. On May 29 I submitted a petition for the suspension of execution. “Look, this is turning into something else” we said, but the judge could not make a decision. For a long time. On the 15th, we were forced out of the park. On the 18th, I logged onto the National Judiciary Network Project (UYAP) and saw a deliberation proceedings report. The names of the president and members, and the word, “cancelled”. So I told all my friends, “I have seen the deliberation proceedings report. It says cancelled. But let’s not make a public statement before seeing the reasoned decision. First, it is not fair to the judge. Second, we haven’t seen the reasoned decision, so we don’t know the grounds of the cancellation”. In administrative procedure, a ruling without justification means nothing. Third, if we were to make a statement before the reasoned decision was written, they might have applied pressure on the panel and the reason may have been changed.
Then there was a long interval. On 3 July, a journalist from Zaman newspaper called. I believe he saw information related to this case in another verdict. Of course, a Fethullahist, a partner in crime, in common cause with the government of the time. So I tried to explain to him as much as I could. Look at the issues of Zaman newspaper after 4 July. Check how many times I was made into a target. The prosecutor’s office tries to describe this as if there was complicity but that is impossible. After this conversation on 3 July I pleaded with them but they didn’t give me the decision. So on the evening of the 3rd we went to the square and made the decision public.
Did this relieve the tension? It did to a certain extent.
However, the bill of indictment is the current expression of the AKP-Fethullahist criminal partnership that it defends the rights of Mithat, who came out of a tank in camouflage gear on 15 July 2016 (*the failed military coup. Former Police Chief Mithat Aynacı was detained on the night of the failed coup in camouflage gear). The prosecutor, believing the Fethullahists, calls the ruling “a scrap of paper”. It believes Mithat who came out of a tank, but it calls a court ruling “a scrap of paper”. And then it talks about re-evaluation!
They panicked so much on 6 July that on 8 July, the Taksim Solidarity delegation was detained in a panic. But the investigation always remained concealed, it was kept secret. Mithat who came out of a tank, used to openly threaten our late teacher Mustafa, saying, “We will try you for carrying out a coup”, while he himself and the gang he was a member of were preparing for the 15 July coup attempt. Later, we heard it through the grapevine that we would be detained in January 2014. It is a long story, which we will continue to discuss later…
Then we submitted a petition to the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, saying “Stop work at Gezi”. There is an official statement by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality which says, “No decision that requires us to stop work has been served to us”. I don’t know why Kadir Topbaş was relieved of duty, but it is clear who works with both Fethullahists and imperialists, and it has nothing to do with us.
Why have you removed from the indictment the name of the shameless middleman Akif Beki who parades as a journalist? He insulted myself and Taksim Solidarity every day on CNN Türk. From KCK cases to Ergenekon cases, we know well how Fethullahist scoundrels first yell on TV and in the press, and then the operation begins. The Gezi resistance is never a part of imperialism, and it is the complete opposite of the darkness represented by the Fethullahists.
So why do you use a pseudonym in place of Akif Beki’s name, why do you remove his name, but include words written about him?
We don’t know what kind of a meeting was organized by whom at Garaj Istanbul. During that period, everyone was doing something about Gezi. And we went to all the meetings we were invited to, and explained the judicial process and Taksim Solidarity.
I know Kavala. Like everyone, I know him from the press. Our conversation was not only about money matters. There are many telephone conversations, which were wiretapped by court ruling.
The issue about talking to the German Consulate…
I remember this photograph taken from a distance of two metres. “You’ve gone too far,” I said. I was handing over a court verdict. Why don’t we see this as a need to be informed about Turkey’s most important social issue?
The German Consulate is in Gümüşsuyu. We live in a country where shared taxis to Topkapı depart from the back wall of the French Consulate. They could be trying to learn about the underground passage right beside the consular building…
But let me tell you, on that day, the Taksim Solidarity delegation was in detention, and KESK (Confederation of Public Labourers’ Union), DİSK (Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey), TMMOB and TTB (Turkish Medical Association) were to hold a press conference at Taksim Hill Hotel. I knew what was about to happen to me because we were being tailed. I made the appointment at Taksim Hill. Why? Because we held all the meetings either at Gezi Café or at Taksim Hill, in broad daylight where there were so many police officers…
As for Murat Papuç… Has the prosecutor asked how Murat Papuç’s statement was taken? Has the prosecutor assessed whether Murat Papuç’s statement was legal or not?
Murat Papuç has no right to throw the mud of his own tongue at us! Murat Papuç, or the political party he is a member of, can cover up their own disgrace, but if the prosecutor has taken his statement, then he must also discuss how that statement complies with law.
As for this person (Hanzade Germiyanoğlu); as I said before, using funds does not constitute a crime. However, we do not work by using funds. There is not even a single implication that Taksim Solidarity has used a single penny of foreign money. Personally, we did not take a single blind penny, and after all, there is a board resolution of TMMOB to this effect.
Yet I would like to express this objection as well:
This person, while Gezi was still continuing, while Ethem, Berkin and Ali were still in hospital and while Ahmet was still alive, displayed the intention to make money through Gezi, and in this sense has no connection, no ethical connection, with us. The fact that this person can speak so openly, using such strong words, about matters that can have no connection to us, seems a little troubling to me in terms of criminal procedure.
As of June 2013, do I have to make a choice between shariaist Mursi and coupist Sisi?
In Egypt and in Tunisia, we are neither on the side of sharia, nor on the side of the coupists. We are the third side. We are on the side of democracy, equality and freedom.
The Gezi resistance is anti-fascist, it says, “You shall not pass” to police violence, it says “No Pasaran”.
Gezi is against imperialism. It cannot be explained away with any plot of foreigners, or with any conspiracy. This, as it has been from the start, is a continuation of not understanding, the failure to understand, this pretence of not understanding Gezi.
Protecting the trees and forests of this country, objecting to the destruction of its agricultural lands, rejecting the pillaging of its waters in a manner that will disrupt the entire ecosystem, resisting death-like conditions imposed upon its workers, refusing to give up on questioning the murder, in illegal student dormitories that belong to religious sects, of children who were deprived of their right to education, that is true patriotism.
Those who cannot even bring themselves to pronounce the word imperialism dare not smear Gezi. Those who in 1969 adopted the US Sixth Fleet as their qibla to pray towards cannot preach to us on anti-imperialism.
The bill of indictment tries to accuse us of organizing the Istanbul City Rally, but it doesn’t mention our elder sister Elif Çermikli, who on that day in Kadıköy was murdered by a shockingly excessive use of pepper gas.
There are parts in the bill of indictment about my attendance to our Berkin Elvan’s funeral, but there is no mention of the fact that not a single person has received a single-day’s sentence yet, although it is crystal clear who was responsible of this child’s murder.
There are long sections in the bill of indictment about June 1, but no mention is made of Ethem Sarısülük.
The bill of indictment digresses endlessly yet it would have our two brothers, who fell on 3 June in two different corners of Turkey, Mehmet Ayvalıtaş and Abdullah Cömert, forgotten.
The bill of indictment speaks of “practicing shirk”, but it never sees Fadime Ayvalıtaş, who in mourning her son, withered away in front of our very eyes.
The bill of indictment talks about the press statement on 28 June but it does not mention Medeni Yıldırım, for whom, so many years later, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to join in mourning the death of someone on the other side of Euphrates.
The bill of indictment says “10 September”, but it does not mention that a case has not yet been filed regarding the murderer of Ahmet Atakan.
The bill of indictment tries to remove from our dreams Ali İsmail Korkmaz, who was beaten to death in a side street of Eskişehir, but it tries to make us believe that one of his murderers, Mevlüt Saldoğan, is “a complainant in the Gezi Case, a person who has suffered damages”.
As it said on the banner in the park, “Do not touch my neighbourhood, my square, my tree, my water, my earth, my home, my seed, my forest, my village, my city, my body.” I, as an ordinary citizen, as a citizen who makes his living through his labour, want to decide my own fate. I object to the legal order that talks about obligations without talking about rights.
We have never experienced an event in Turkey before where people became sisters and brothers to this degree whatever language they spoke, whatever faith they belonged to, whatever political view they believed in.
This is the reason why Gezi is remembered so fondly.
Gezi is the will and determination of the people to take hold of their own destiny.
Gezi is the possibility of this country, and the Middle East, to emerge from darkness.
Gezi is this country’s hope for equality, freedom and justice.
Şerafettin Can Atalay