Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI) is dedicated to bringing together Iraqi and international civil societies through concrete actions to build together another Iraq, with peace and Human Rights for all.

Gezi Park Voices: “We Exist, We are Here and We Have Demands”.

This is the latest press statement of the Taksim Solidarity –


To the Government and the people of the Republic of Turkey Across the country, particularly in Istanbul-Taksim, all the citizens are demonstrating their democratic reaction to the police violence pursued by the government as a response to the social sensitivity to the attempts to demolish Taksim Gezi Park at 22.00 on 27th May 2013. First, we are share the grief of the families of Abdullah Comert and Mehmet Ayvalitas who lost their lives and we want to convey best wishes for a speedy recovery to our thousands of injured citizens.Gezi Park 3

Unfortunately, the government continues to follow policies of violence, oppression and prohibitionist rule despite the fact that the protesters are peacefully and democratically voicing their demands, which are democracy and the most basic human rights. We want everybody to know that we are making intensive effort to reach the social climate where not a single citizen’s nose bleeds, the tensions disappear and the democratic demands can be expressed. Therefore, as Taksim Solidarity, we are waiting for the government to take concrete steps to immediately meet our demands listed below. Gezi Park should remain a park. 


  • Taksim Gezi Park will not be re-developed under the name of Artillery Barracks or any other project,
  • An official statement on the cancellation of the current project is made,
  • The attempts to demolish Ataturk Cultural Centre stop,
  • Everybody responsible for the thousands of injured people and two deaths, starting with the Governors and the Police Chiefs of Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay and everyone who prevented the use of the most basic democratic rights of the people; who gave orders for violent repression, enforced or implemented these orders are dismissed from their posts,
  • The use of tear gas bombs and other similar materials is prohibited,
  • Detained citizens who attended  the resistance across the country are immediately released and an official statement which declares that there will not be any investigation about them,
  • Starting with Taksim and Kizilay squares, all the meeting and demonstration bans effecting all of our squares and public areas and all the de facto blockings are abolished and stopped,
  • Barriers to freedom of expression are removed.

Gezi Park Protests


Furthermore, we believe that the content, the spirit, the expectations and the demands of the reactions which have risen in the squares, avenues, streets and all the public areas of our country since 27th May 2013 22.00 should be recognized by the authorities. Trying to explain what has happened with “marginality” means ignoring it. It is seen that the current understanding of power which has been symbolized with the Gezi Park demolition is interpreted by our citizens as “intervention in their life styles and scorning”, that they have shown a public reaction to this with men, women, the young and the old and that their response to power is “we exist, we are here and we have demands”. We would like to inform those who are currently in government that the content of this rising reaction consists of;

  • Our reaction to the pillaging of our ecological heritage with plans and practices like firstly the project for the 3rd bridge over Bosporus, the project for the 3rd airport in Istanbul, Kanal Istanbul project, AOC (demolition of Ataturk Forest Farm), HES (Hydroelectric Power Plants) and more recently the draft law on the Protection of Nature and Biodiversity,
  • Our opposition against the war policies in our country and our region, our demand for regional peace,
  • The sensitivities of our alawite citizens,
  • The rightful demands of the victims of urban transformation
  • The rising voice against the conservative male politics establishing control over women’s bodies,
  • The resistance against the oppression on the universities, courts and artists,
  • The demands of all the labourers against their rights being deprived, particularly at Turkish Airlines,
  • The fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,
  • The demand for the removal of all barriers between the citizens and their right to education and health service.