Turkish Crackdown Intensifies: Take Action Today!

Demonstrators try to escape from riot police on June 11, 2013 on Taksim square in Istanbul. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned he would show 'no more tolerance' for the unrelenting mass demonstrations against his Islamic-rooted government (Photo Credit: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images).

Demonstrators try to escape from riot police on June 11, 2013 on Taksim square in Istanbul. Riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to clear protesters as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned he would show ‘no more tolerance’ for the unrelenting mass demonstrations against his Islamic-rooted government (Photo Credit: Angelos Tzortzinis/AFP/Getty Images).

As international condemnation of Turkish police repression against peaceful protesters continues, the Turkish government doubled down today with an early morning raid on Taksim Square.

Istanbul’s Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu assured the public that the intervention was only to remove some banners. Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International’s researcher on Turkey reports ”[when] we met with the Governor this afternoon, he continued to insist that the police were using appropriate force in pursuit of legitimate goals. Neither of these claims is consistent with the reality on the ground.”

In the past two weeks, thousands have been injured due to police violence in Turkey. Again today, the police used water cannons and tear gas against peaceful demonstrators. An Amnesty press release today, citing the Istanbul Medical Association, says that there were further injuries today, including “nine people injured by plastic bullets, several broken limbs, a number of cases of head and chest trauma and one fractured skull.” To date, the Turkish government has failed to investigate the many documented allegations of police violence and nobody has been brought to justice.

There are also troubling signs of a broader crackdown. A number of media outlets have reported that individuals have been arrested for twitter and Facebook messages (Amnesty is still researching the details of these arrests). Moreover, scores of lawyers sympathetic to the protesters were arrested today as they prepared to make a statement about the protests.

Clearly, the need for continued action is there. We must not watch passively as peaceful protesters are victimized. 

Amnesty International is calling on Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step in immediately and stop police violence. Ill-treatment on arrest and in detention must end, access to medical care must be ensured. An independent and effective investigation into the violence must be carried out together with an urgent display of attrition from the government to diffuse the crisis.

Please join in Amnesty’s call on the Turkish government to protect freedom of expression and end police abuse.

1. If you have not done so already, sign Amnesty’s petition here. It will only take a minute. If you have already signed, ask your friends and family to join in. Remember, the Turkish government does not see “likes” on Facebook. Voice your opinion in a way that the Turkish government can hear.

2. Tweet for freedom and against police repression!  Amnesty has developed new twitter messages:

.@RT_Erdogan Removing banners is not a legitimate reason to stop a peaceful assembly. Stop police intervention in #Taksim now! @aforgutu
.@RT_Erdogan Protests in #Taksim Square have been peaceful. Stop the use of tear gas and water cannons on peaceful protestors. @aforgutu

3. Keep up to date with our on-going campaign.

We will update the action as needed. Consider joining Amnesty International USA’s Turkish Regional Action Network, follow us on Facebook or at our blog site, Human Rights in Turkey. Follow Amnesty Researcher Andrew Gardner on Twitter at @andrewegardner. This is an urgent and on-going crisis. We need your support.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

11 thoughts on “Turkish Crackdown Intensifies: Take Action Today!

  1. Human rights are being violated. Please help us. The police and the government is torturing and murdering people. The media is silenced. Civil police and akp supporters are torturing harmless protesters. Human rights are being violated.

  2. I totally disapprove of the word 'Islamic' to describe Erdogan's government and his policies. The fact that he happens to be Muslim has NOTHING to do with this conflict, and Amnesty should be thoroughly ashamed of this promotion of ignorance and prejudice with regard to the religion of Islam.

    • What is wrong with you, if it has nothing to do with it ,then why are you mentioning it……try to see past the end of your nose, and recognize this is not the place for you to whine about your problems with amnesties language, while people are being muder'd YOU HAVE TO PISS N MOAN ABOUT YOUR DELICATE SENSIBILITIES……..my god how selfish and twisted to use this forum in an attempt to meet the needs of your personal problems………..if your worried about the reputation of the Islamic reputation start with your prophet raping a 9 year old..girl[shirya I believe her name was but don't quote me]…..ring a bell…..n then get in line……..like with all organized religions it has committed many atrocities in its holy wars..in the name of ISLAM…….now try to go find a site that accommodates people that have offended Islam…….out here we are trying to help innocent people from being butchered by cowards.. we don't care what bullshit organized religion these people are a part of……..

    • I am very open to all religions, but do need to point out that Erdrogan's government closed the nightclubs for religious reasons. So I do not think you comment is entirely accurate.

  3. HEY Beryl you can worry about amnesties language on another post n time………you see yr worried about the impression people have about yr religion……….whole different problem……why don't you see past the end of your nose and care about the atrocities these police are getting away with………THAT IS WHAT THIS POST IS ABOUT…………..if you want to whine about the Islamic religion getting a bad rap………….well go back to the 9 year old girl yr prophet raped n start there……….ok…….now get off this post people are trying to help people here

  4. @Beryl The language that you noted was not Amnesty's but AFPs. Unfortunately, to the best of our knowledge there is no way for us to edit the language that comes with their photographs. That said, I agree with you that "Islamic-rooted" is a meaningless and poorly phrased term.