Paul Murphy to visit heart of Turkish Protests

Socialist Party MEP, Paul Murphy, is currently visiting Istanbul in a solidarity visit with the protest movement that has erupted from Gezi Park, from the evening of Friday 7th June until the evening of Sunday 9th June. During the visit, Paul will be meeting with activists in Taksim Square, trade unionists and an MP from the BDP [Party for Peace and Democracy, left-wing and the main pro-Kurdish party]. Paul commented on the visit:

“The visit is to extend the solidarity of working people and activists across Europe, who are watching events in Turkey with sympathy for the protesters and are appalled by the brutality used by the state forces.”

As a member of the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament, Paul initiated a message of support, signed by 15 MEPs, with the Gezi Park protests:

“We the undersigned, Members of the European United Left/ Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group in the European Parliament would like to extend our solidarity to those who have been involved in peaceful mass protest movements across Turkey in the recent days and weeks. Working people and activists across Europe are watching events in Turkey with sympathy for the protesters and are appalled by the brutality used by the state forces.

We support the call by the public sector trade union KESK who have called warning strikes in light of the brutal use of state violence against protesters. The right wing Turkish regime, a NATO ally with its own ambitions to become a regional power, is challenged by an uprising of anger and opposition.

As left wing Members of the European Parliament, we defend the democratic right of all people in Turkey and indeed across the world to protest and to freedom of expression. We are appalled by the reports in the media that quote Premier Erdogan saying that the “protests are undemocratic” and that “the social media are a severe threat to society".

We are enraged by the reports of mass arrests of more than 1,700 people and equally enraged about the 1,500 or so people that have been injured as a result of the police violence, some of them very seriously as we understand.

We call on the Turkish government to end the police violence and support the call for an independent investigation into the use of state violence and demand that the findings will be made public and perpetrators be brought to justice.

Many of us are actively involved in protest movements against the brutal austerity policies in our own countries which are imposed by the so called Troika of the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission, with the agreement and support of the national governments that have led to misery and poverty for many working class people and youth in particular.

We witness how the democratic right to protest is increasingly threatened as the anger of people against neo-liberal and anti-social policies increases. That is why we need to stand together to defend our right to protest and to stand for a policy that defends the interests and living standards of the majority of the people and not the interests of a tiny rich minority.

We say “Enough is enough!” the government has long violated democratic rights, the rights of workers, trade unions and minorities. Your courage and struggle is an inspiration to us and we will do everything in our power to highlight your struggle in the European Parliament and in the trade union and social movements that we are involved in.

Yours in solidarity,

Paul Murphy MEP, Ireland

Martina Anderson MEP, Ireland

Nikolaos Chountis MEP, Greece

Takis Hadjigeorgiou MEP, Cyprus

Jacky Hénin MEP, France

Sabine Lösing MEP, Germany

Marisa Matias MEP,Portugal

Willy Meyer MEP, Spain

Helmut Scholz MEP, Germany

Soren Sondergaard MEP, Denmark

Alda Sousa MEP, Portugal

Kyriacos Triantaphyllides MEP, Cyprus

Sabine Wils MEP, Germany

Gabi Zimmer MEP, Germany"

Committee for a workers' International publications

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