Solidarity with the Turkish mass movement in Copenhagen

On Monday, June 10th, 100 people gathered in front of the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen to show their support for the mass movement in Turkey and protest against brutal repression from the Turkish government. In the demonstration we saw the same phenomena as we see in the Turkish mass movement, that it cuts across all kinds of divisions. There were Turks and Kurds, Iraqis and Iranians, Danes and other nationalities.

The initiative for the demonstration came from Socialistisk Standpunkt who, together with the Alevi Society in Denmark, had organized the protest. Also many other groups participated with banners and placards in Turkish, Danish, Kurdish and English, and also with pictures of the dead and wounded. Occupy Denmark, who for several days had organized “Occupy Gezi” in Copenhagen produced placards with five slogans:

  • IMG 5189Gezi Park must stay as a park!
  • Governors and the police chiefs and everyone who gave orders for, enforced or implemented violent repression, must resign!
  • Teargas bombs and other similar material must be prohibited!
  • Detained citizens must be immediately released!
  • All bans on meetings and demonstrations effecting all squares and public areas must be abolished and stopped!

IMG 5194The first speaker was Marie Frederiksen, editor of Socialistisk Standpunkt. She explained that what had started as a protest against the closure of a park has developed into a mass movement that is an inspiration for workers and youth all over the world. It shows that it is not possible to predict what will be the spark that ignites all the dissatisfaction simmering below the surface.

dame og skilte nijeThe International Marxist Tendency (IMT), that Socialistisk Standpunkt is a part of, thinks that the main slogan now must be: Down with Erdogan! But at the same time, she explained, that while the IMT supports all democratic demands, we think that the movement must go further than that. Social justice cannot be achieved as long as a small clique of rich people steals the wealth created by the Turkish workers every day. The struggle for democracy, freedom and against police repression in Turkey cannot be separated from the social struggle.

It is possible to topple Erdogan, but only if the movement takes a step forward. The IMT appeals to the Turkish trade unions to come together and set a date for the start of a general strike. And at the same time we appeal to the Turkish people to form committees of action in factories, schools, cities and villages, on a local, regional and national level, as the only way of making sure the movement is not hijacked as it was in Egypt.

skilte nijeThe movement in Turkey is part of the movement we have sees in the world in the recent period, as we saw in the Arab Spring, the movement to fight for a dignified future for the young generations. Marie Frederiksen ended with an appeal to the Danish workers’ parties to support the movement in Turkey and condemn the brutal repression by the regime.

The next speaker was Serdal Benli, member of the leadership of the Socialistisk Folkeparti (SF). Serdal Benli spoke in a personal capacity, and not on behalf of the SF who now has a member of its party as the Danish foreign minister. He pointed out how remarkable it is that so many groups are united both in this demonstration and in the movements in Turkey. The Turkish regime has developed into a regime that gasses its own citizens. The treatment the movement is now getting from the Turkish police has been the experience for decades of the oppressed minority groups such as the Alevites and Kurdish people. The Kurds received a harsh lesson when in 2011 they tried to celebrate Kurdish New Year but were gassed.

He went on and condemned the Erdogan regime as arrogant and autocratic and made it clear that Erdogan will not succeed in presenting himself as the “Guardian of Morals”. Turkey is the world’s largest prison for journalists and activists. The important thing with today’s demonstration is to show all who fight for freedom that they are not alone! We have a big responsibility to spreadthis appeal in the whole Western world. He ended by quoting a poem by the Danish poet Carl Scharnbeg: “The one who does not dare to choose which way to go, ends up as a stone on the stairs that the strong step on.” [Our translation, which unfortunately does not give proper credit to the original beautiful poem].

Following him spoke a president of the Alevi Society in Denmark, Cagdas Saglicak. The Alevi Society has organized many events in solidarity with the mass movement in Denmark. He explained that the movement continues in Turkey and that the demonstration at Taksim on Sunday was the largest so far and that people challenged the government by doing what it wishes to prohibit, such as kissing in public, gays showing their love in public, etc. Even though people are getting sacked from their jobs for participating in the movement it now continues on day 14. Erdogan is now threatening to “let the dogs out” and mobilize his supporters. So there is still need for solidarity. He appealed to more countries to publicly support the demonstrations. In the end he encouraged allto participate in the “Occupy Gezi” protests that take place almost on a daily basis in Copenhagen.

After this the microphone was open and several spoke to show their solidarity with the movement. After the speeches the discussions continued between the participants on how to continue the solidarity work. Many visited the Socialistisk Standpunkt stall to get a copy of the IMT statement on Turkey either in Danish, Turkish or in both. We hope the solidarity work continues and appeal to all to raise the question in their party branches, unions or their schools.

Source: Socialistisk Standpunkt