The following is a statement from Day-Mer, a Turkish and Kurdish community organisation based in London. DAY-MER was set up on 11 November 1989 to work with and on behalf of Turkish and Kurdish people living and working in London to help them solve their problems and promote their cultural, economic, social and democratic rights; to strengthen solidarity among themselves as well as local people; and to help their integration into the society.
We condemn the police violence that has caused the death of Ahmet Atakan from Hatay, Armutlu-Turkey
Once again police violence results in another death. Police attack protesters gathered in Hatay-Armutlu who were demonstrating to condemn the ongoing police violence and to protest the attempt to build a motorway through the forest in Ankara (ODTU) and Tuzlucayir neighborhood. Twenty two year old Ahmet Atakan lost his life when a gas canister aimed at his head from a distance of four meters from a police vehicle known as Akrep. This incident follows the deaths of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (20), Abdullah Cömert (22), Ethem Sarısülük (26), Ali İsmail Korkmaz (19) and Medeni Yıldırım (18).
We condemn the police violence against the peaceful protesters’ exercising their democratic rights. The governor of Hatay who made a statement claiming that “Ahmet fell off the rooftop while throwing a solar panel onto the police” prior to the forensic medical report which had detected a cave in the front part of Ahmet’s head, the internal affairs minister who has treated deaths during protests as ordinary and the AKP government which tries to suppress all forms of opposition with violence, as a political tool, are responsible for Ahmet Atakan’s death.
People living in Hatay, which borders Syria, have for long time been living under an undeclared martial law tyranny and violence within the region. Protesters have once again been attacked by police on the evening of 10th September in several cities including Istanbul, Hatay, Ankara and Izmir who had gathered to protest the death of Ahmet Atakan caused by the police.
The governor and Internal affairs minister should resign following this death. The government should lift the enforced state of emergency rule and withdraw police force within places where people are exercising their democratic rights. Those responsible for the deaths now and during the Gezi uprising should be tried.
As Day-Mer we are calling all trade unionist, intellectuals, writers and organisations in Britain to protest against the AKP government. As listed below, you can send emails of protests to the government official in Turkey. We kindly ask that you also cc [email protected] with your email of protests.
Turkish Republic Prime Minister: PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Email: [email protected], Fax: +90 312 422 26 69, +90 312 422 18 99
Mr. Muammer Güler Turkish Republic Home Office Affairs E-Posta: [email protected], Fax: +90 312 418 12 60
Mr. Sadullah Ergin Governor of Istanbul Turkish Republic
Day-Mer (Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre) Tel: 0207 275 84 40, Email: [email protected]