Communist Party of Australia

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Issue #1597      June 12, 2013

Perth rally for free speech and democracy in Turkey

The demonstrations in Turkey which began against the move by the Turkish government to demolish large parts of Gezi Park in Istanbul to make way for a shopping mall has entered its 11th day. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Turkey, TKP, says “...Turkey is witnessing a genuine popular movement. The actions and protests, which have started in Istanbul and spread all over Turkey, have a massive, legitimate and historic character. Most important of all is the striking change in the mood of people. Fear and apathy have been overcome and people have gained self-confidence.” (See full statement The choice for the working class – Statement of Central Committee of Communist Party of Turkey.)

On Saturday protests were also held around the world including in Sydney and Perth. In Perth a group of around 100 people gathered peacefully to march from Kings Park to Parliament House in West Perth, to demand the resignation of the Erdogan government; and the end of demolition projects in Gezi Park and of the Ataturk Cultural Centre; for protesters taken in custody to be released immediately and all charges against them dropped.

The protest in Perth was in large part made up of members of the Turkish community.

A recent report from Turkey indicates Prime Minister Erdogan’s government may now concede the shelving of plans for the shopping centre. The Turkish community in Perth mobilised themselves through the social networking site Facebook and a leaflet distributed at the rally can be downloaded from the site www.facebook.com/OccupyGezi.

The leaflet demanded an end to police brutality, a free media, open democratic dialogue between citizens and those elected to public service, not the dictates of special interests and an investigation of the government’s recent abuse of power, which has led to the loss of innocent lives.

The Turkish Communist Party has been prominent in organising protests and voicing the dissent felt by many in Turkey against the increasingly authoritarian rule of the government of Prime Minister Erdogan. Many citizens are concerned about the encroachment of religious dogma creeping into previously secular Turkish society.

The Communist Party of Australia joins with the Communist Party of Turkey in calling for the resignation of the Turkish government and the call for a democratic dialogue with all sectors of the Turkish society; an investigation into the abuse of power by police. Several images can be seen on the above Facebook site.

For more information on the Communist Party of Turkey’s position on the events visit: www.solidnet.org/turkey-communist-party-of-turkey/4058-cp-of-turkey-declaration-of-the-central-committee-of-the-tkp-on-recent-developments-en  

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