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Turkey: Protest about Immigration and State Violence
greece / turkey / cyprus | anti-fascism | news report Monday September 24, 2007 15:57 by Ender Yılmaz - AKi -Turkey
On the 23rd of September about 100 people from different parties and associations made a common press declaration on the questions of immigration and the increasing state violence in Turkey.
The press declaration:
On the 20th of August Festus Okey, a Nigerian immigrant, was murdered in Beyoglu Police Station with a police bullet. Shortly after this event Dariusz Witek, a Polish citizen, committed suicide at the Kumpayi Foreigners’ Guest House of Foreigners Department while he was waiting for the procedures of his deportation. These two consecutive events displayed the importance of immigration for one more time.
Festus Okey was one of the thousands of immigrants who are not “recognized” by the state while being used as a source of cheap labor. As usual the state tries to cover up this event by using all means: They try to legitimize the murder by claiming that Festus was a drug dealer. They organize “narcotic operations” against the foreigners’ neighborhoods. They put more pressure on those people who are already living under bad conditions. This event points to two aspects of a very serious issue:
Firstly, the crime committed by the police and the lack of any intention among the police department to be accounted for it was the consequence of a very important issue in our regions as well as on the whole world: The issue of immigration and immigrants. Many people live under conditions of war and misery due to the strategies of rich countries to increase their wealth and they are forced to immigrate in order to survive. In all Europe immigration and violence and discrimination against immigrants became an important question. The discourses equating European nations with welfare are negated by the fact of immigration which displays the brutal face of this order. Last year one of the boys hiding in an electric transformer to escape from the policemen died and the following protests continued for days. While many were protesting the increasing racism and the discrimination against the immigrants in the French society, the police used violence proving these claims and one of the injured youths was an immigrant from Turkey. The immigrants coming from Turkey know what it really means. Tens of thousands of immigrants came to Turkey to run away from the oppression and misery in their lands. The existence of them and what they have experienced in Turkey was ignored until now. Now we should ask these questions to ourselves:
How much do we know about the violence, racism or the lives they lost on the ways of immigration when they were fleeing from poverty and hunger to reach a better life? Do we know the conditions of the refugee camps in which they are having been closed down? How long can we continue ignoring the lives of people with whom we are living?
Another issue is the state oppression which shows itself in different forms and which is directed to many segments of our society. This event is a continuation of this systematic violence. The new changes in the Police Responsibility and Authority Law, Anti-Terror Law, Punishment Judging Law, and Punishment Law paved the way for this murder and many other acts of violence. After these changes the cases of deaths and torture in police stations increased visibly. How many investigations are opened against the responsible cops? How many of these investigations are concluded or believed to be concluded? Someone has to answer these questions.
The destination of violence is not just one segment of the society. The traditional targets of state violence, the Kurdish people, experience an increase in oppression and the ongoing practices are very similar to the old state of emergency rule in the region. Little time passed after the operations against democratic and revolutionary institutions. As an example of oppression against homosexual associations members of Rainbow Association in Bursa were taken under custody for being members of an illegal organization.
Our agenda is distracted by the conflicts between the government and the army. We know that this fight is not between democrats and anti-democrats or secularists and anti-secularists and that the two alternatives imposed on us do not mean anything other than the continuation of exploitation, oppression and violence. They are trying to imprint to our minds that the new constitution prepared by the AKP is “a civil constitution”. It is obvious that the AKP does not aim to destroy the counter-guerilla organization responsible for the murders of Hrant Dink and many others. Before the elections they seemed to be seriously dealing with the murder of Hrant Dink, but the events after the elections showed that they are covering up this murder as usual. We know that whether its adjective is civil or military no legislation or constitution by them will benefit the workers, the poor and the oppressed. But these are not our destiny. We can run this blockade and abolish the death laws, if we can come together.
No Liberation for One! All or None!
Abolish the Death Laws! End the Operations, Oppression, and Attacks!
If the Laws Belong to the State, the Streets Belong to Us! End Authorized Murders!
Labor Movement Party, Socialist Labor Party, Anarchist Communist Initiative, Foundation of Generation 78, Tüm-IGD, Students’ Opposition, Hope Cooperative, Workers’ Struggle, ANKİÇ, Otonom-A, Anarchist Front, People’s Culture Centers, Lambda Istanbul, Socialist Democracy Party, Socialist Platform of the Oppressed
Sat 25 May, 08:02
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