Party of Labour
October 19, 2001

The last weekend witnessed important demonstrations protesting both US aggressiveness and the government’s collaborator policies. Below please find both text giving information on these activities and the press release of our President following the brutal attacks of the police forces to these demonstrations:

Protests Against US Aggressiveness

The aggressive attacks of the US and the US collaborator pro-war policies of the Ecevit Government were protested in Istanbul and Adana on Sunday, 14 October 2001.

Anti-war demonstrations were organized by the Party of Labour (EMEP), Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) and Socialist Power Party (SIP) on 14 October in the four major cities of Turkey; Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Adana. However on these rallies being banned by the government; demonstrations were organized on 13 and 14 October to protest both the banning of the rallies and the war.

On 13 October demonstrations were held in Izmir and Ankara to which EMEP, ODP, SIP as well as certain anti-war organizations, trade unionists and intellectuals participated.

While of the demonstrations held on 14 October the one in Adana ended peacefully, the police brutally attacked the demonstration held in Istanbul and took 44 people under custody. Approximately 1500 people participated to the demonstration held by EMEP and SIP members in Kadikoy (a district in the Anatolian side of the city), Istanbul. Trade unionists and intellectuals also participated in the demonstration to protest both the war and the Ecevit Government.

The demonstrators began to march from the centre of the district to the port with their party flags and posters. Levent Tuzel, President of EMEP; Memet Kilincaslan, Vice-President of EMEP; Suleyman Baba, Vice-President of SIP and central and Istanbul administrators of both the parties also participated in the march. Also there was participation from some unions affiliated to Confederation of Public Sector Unions (KESK) and worker confederations.

The most frequently chanted slogans of the march were; ‘No to War’, ‘Down With US Imperialism’, ‘Budget for Education, Not for War’, ‘No to War; Work, Bread, Equality and Freedom’, ‘No to Poverty and Hunger’. At the end of the march, Suleyman Baba and Levent Tuzel each gave a speech.

Such points as; US imperialism, tailed by the other NATO member countries, following aggressive policies, the war coalition attacking Afghanistan being after new arrangements in Asia and the Middle East and the pro-war attitude taken by the Ecevit Government despite the fact that practically all of the people of Turkey were against the war, were specifically expressed in the speeches.

Throwing nerve gas and leading their dogs onto the people, the police started their attack and beat the masses with truncheons just when Levent Tuzel’s speech was coming to an end. Quite a number of the people were wounded as a result of the truncheons and being bitten by the police dogs and 44 people were taken under police custody.

Both the EMEP and SIP party administrators made press statements, clearly underlining that neither the attacks nor the threats would be able to intimidate their parties and that they will continue to protest both the US aggressiveness and the pro-war attitude of the US collaborator Ecevit Government.


October 15, 2001

The people organizing unarmed and peaceful anti-war demonstrations is a completely legitimate and democratic right. Those using their authorities against this right are committing a crime against humanity.

State authorities and police chiefs have not only banned the demonstration organized by our Party together with other anti-war parties and supported by the Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions (DISK), Confederation of Public Employees Union (KESK), Architects and Engineers Associations Union of Turkey (TMMOB) and certain trade unions affiliated to Confederation of Workers Unions of Turkey (TURK-IS) as well many mass organizations but have also tried to prevent the press conference we had planned to hold as presidents of the political parties. On being unable to prevent this demonstration; these forces displayed their anger by brutally attacking the masses chanting anti-war slogans.

While anti-US, anti-imperialist and pro-peace forces have been protesting the attacks against Afghanistan with anti-war demonstrations all over the world; there have been oppositions against the war since 11 September and the labourers, not wanting Turkey to participate in such a war have been expressing their demands and reactions in various opportunities in our country also. All this and several public polls are vivid evidences of the opposition of the great majority of the people to Turkey taking a pro-US attitude and participating in this war as well as the Parliament authorizing the government to send troops.

As has been the case till today; maintaining it their chief principle to govern the country with policies of imposition and tension carried out in spite of the people, the government and the sovereign forces are now making preparations to drag an entire country into this war for the sake of US interests.

Those running the country are committing crimes against humanity

Arbitrarily restricting the fundamental rights and freedoms and interpreting democratic rights as it suits their own interests, the officials using state authority are committing a crime. Organizing unarmed and peaceful anti-war demonstrations is a completely legitimate, democratic and legal right of the people. Those using their authorities against these rights are not only committing a crime within the legal framework but are also committing crimes against humanity.

Abandoning the people to confront hunger and poverty and exposing the country to plunder; the sovereign forces are calculating ways of silencing the labourers’ demands for work, bread, freedom, equality and brotherhood in a war-dominated environment and making them submit to further sacrifices. This is the future denoted by the 2002 Budget that is being prepared.

The people of Turkey do not regard the US as a friend or an ally

Besides a handful of collaborator interest and capital circles; the people of Turkey do not regard the US as a friend or an ally. And the people who have sent their sons to Korea and Kosova yesterday are against troops being sent to Afghanistan today. For; the fact that war only increases the pain and impoverishment of the people is a fact that has become even more evident today.

Turkey is not bereft of a solution.

The government that has dragged the country and the people into such a decline should immediately resign from its duties, without opening the door to new disasters. A popular and democratic government that will solve the people’s unemployment, poverty and hunger problems, implement policies along the direction of the people’s demands – not the IMF’s – with a foreign policy based on anti-war principles, independence and equal relations of brotherhood among the people should be established.

Levent Tüzel

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