We have received the following statement about the harassment of socialists in Turkey. We are publishing it as an elementary duty of internationalist solidarity.
Dear Friends and Comrades,
On 21 September 2010, at 5 a.m. Socialist Democracy Party (SDP) Offices and many homes of the party members, as well as the homes of three representatives of Platform for Social Freedom (TÖP) in Istanbul were attacked by armed Turkish police forces. Police special operations teams, who were heavily armed and wore snow masks and steel vests, have made a mess out of the homes and party offices where they seized computers and a number of visual and written materials.
During the operations 18 people have been detained among whom are SDP President Dr. Rıdvan Turan; Central Committee members Günay Kubilay, Ecevit Piroğlu, Ulaş Bayraktaroğlu; party representatives Sultan Seçik Kubilay (also an executive member of Human Rights Association, Istanbul), İbrahim Turgut and Özgür Cafer Kalafat as a result of the attacks to their homes in Istanbul. Not only SDP members, but also Platform for Social Freedom representatives Oğuzhan Kayserilioğlu and Tuncay Yılmaz, and member Semih Aydın have been detained in the same way. Now, it has been two days that they are under detention and the police are extending the duration of detention to four days now, which is the utmost legal limit for detention in Turkey.
The police forces have carried out these detentions with the accusation of associating our members with an illegal organization called “Revolutionary Headquarters”, which is known to be armed resistance forces against Turkish state. However, the lawsuit processes against this organization have been a real judicial scandal full of arbitrary arrests that resulted in the victimization of innocent people. We assert that these accusations and detentions against our members is unlawful and arbitrary. We are honored to say that our president and representatives are socialists who strive for the revolution; but the conclusions that the government forces are trying to arrive at are totally absurd. They assert that “these people had been trying to hide in SDP in order to camouflage their illegal action”! What kind of camouflage is presidency? Our president and members do not need or want camouflage. They are renowned political people and revolutionaries whose organizations and actions have always been completely overt and legitimate over the years in this country.
This is nothing but a political conspiracy against two socialist organizations who have been in the process of initiating an internationalist socialist union in solidarity with the Kurdish people’s movement. These attacks aim to threaten all the socialists in Turkey. It is obvious for us that AKP fears the united organized action of socialist powers. That is the reason why they try to start a smear campaign against socialists who they cannot fight in the legal order, so they try to condemn them as “terrorists”. Because for them, “any person who opposes AKP is a terrorist!” It is a proof that AKP government cannot tolerate any political opposition, and does not respect no law or order. We believe that this is what AKP government takes the meaning of democracy for: totalitarianism that resembles the prosecutions of the military coup of 12th September 1980. Only nine days after the referendum for the so-called “democratization” of the Turkish Constitution after the military coup of 1980, the government has started the witch-hunt for socialist opposition.
This is a resemblance that AKP government shares with the military coup. Who else attacks the home of a political party president at 5 a.m. in the morning with heavy arms? The government forces cannot even explain why they felt the need to attack with machine guns when it was so simple to reach them in a normal way. But it is easy to know: the aim is not to get at them; the aim is to terrorize the socialist movement. But the government should learn that they cannot dismay us with such cheap conspiracy and lies. We demand that our members under detention should be released now.
We invite world socialist and democratic powers to be in solidarity with us against this totalitarian politics and conspiracy.
Long live Socialism! Long live international solidarity!
SOCIALIST DEMOCRACY PARTY & PLATFORM FOR SOCIAL FREEDOM
SOSYALİST DEMOKRASİ PARTİSİ – TOPLUMSAL ÖZGÜRLÜK PLATFORMU