On Friday morning, the AKP government of Turkey´s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan ordered Turkey´s police to begin a crackdown on Turkey´s opposition, resulting in numerous arrests of prominent opposition members and journalists.
Roadblocks have been established in Turkey in an attempt to prevent protesters from reaching the city of Silivri on 5 August, where the AKP and Pentagon plan to complete a de facto coup d´etat by sentencing 600 citizens who are charged on fabricated, serious espionage and on lesser espionage charges.
The opposition remains defiant in the light of the arrests, promising mass protests with hundreds of thousands of people protesting on 5 August.
During the morning hours of Friday, Turkish police forces began raiding 20 houses, resulting in the arrest of at least 20 opposition members and other cadres among those protesting the de facto AKP/Pentagon coup d´etat and the sentencing on 5 August in Silivri have been arrested.
On Friday, the police was particularly targeting the Worker´s Party – Turkey, İşçi Partisi, the Turkish Youth Union, Turkiye Genclik Birligi – TGB, as well as the Ulusal Kanal TV channel and the Aydınlık Newspaper.
Arrest warrants were issued against, among other, the Chairman of the Turkish Youth Union, Cagdas Cengiz, the Chief Editor of the Aydınlık Newspaper, the Workers’ Party Chairman of Istanbul, Osman Kuruca and their Chairman for Ankara, Osman Yilmaz. At the same time police forces started raiding and searching for reporters of the Ulusal Kanal TV channel.
Opposition Remains Defiant Despite Arrests .While the crackdown continued on Saturday, members of Turkey´s opposition remain defiant in the light of the arrests, stating, that the arrests and road blocks will not prevent hundreds of thousands to protest on 5 August in Silivri, and eventually other cities. Important political institutions condemned the detentions and many of Turkey´s intellectuals took solid steps to unite the people against what was described in terms like “the slaughter of law”.
The Deputy-Chairman of the Workers’ Party (Turkey) (IP) Yalcin Buyukdagli declared the oppositions defiance against the AKP coup, the Ergenkon trials and the United States ” Greater Middle East Project”, saying:
“Yesterday´s operations (arrests – road blocks) by the governor of Istanbul sent a clear signal. On the 5th of August hundreds of thousands will stand up against the slaughter of law, together with the leadership of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), the Workers’ Party (IP), the Association of Kemalist Thought (ADD) and the Turkish Youth Union (TGB).”
The Erdogan regime has been attacking recklessly since 2007. Hundreds of loyal commanders to Ataturk’s Republic and intellectuals who enlighten the future of our country are taken to the court in a so-called trial.”
“We now announce, that the decisions of the court are not recognized by our side. This so-called decision targets the separation of Turkey. It’s their time to go down the drain. It’s our nation that will flush them down the drain of history”.
Also Bulent Tezcan, the deputy-chairman of the main opposition party, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) stressed the opposition´s defiance against the crackdown and stated:
“We are not afraid of fascism and will be at Silivri on the August, 5th with the leadership of CHP, Workers’ Party (IP), the Association of Kemalist Thought (ADD) and the Turkish Youth Union (TGB).”
Two deputies of the Republican People´s Party, CHP, Mahmut Tanal and Ali Ozgunduz were present at the Provincial Bureau of the Turkish Youth Union, TGB, during a police raid against the youth organization. Subsequently, Tanal delivered a statement of defiance, inviting the people of Turkey to come to Silivri on 5 August, and promising, that he will be there, despite the crackdown. Tanal said:
“The people are excluded from the trails, but they insist on the principle of public access to the trials rights”
The Ergenkon trials against the 600 detainees have been internationally criticized for being highly politically charged show trials in kangaroo courts. Subsequent to the arrest of the 300 high-ranking, retired and active duty military officers on fabricated espionage charges and the arrest of an additional 300 officers, intellectuals, scholars, journalists and opposition members, including party chairmen and members of parliament, the Erdogan administration passed legislation to allow specially authorized courts for the Ergenkon trials.
The trials have, among many other points, been criticized for secret evidence, secret and anonymous witnesses, secret charges, and a series of other violations of legal principles which could guaranty a fair trial and proceedings. Tanal sharply criticized that no one except lawyers, members of the press and the accused are allowed in the court, stressing, that not even relatives have permission to witness the trial and the pronouncing of the verdicts. This is especially remarkable taken into account, that Turkey´s police crackdown which began on Friday, also targets media which are not willing to adhere to dictated narratives. Tanal stressed:
“This is dictatorship. The oppression by the police forces has brought people together. They will bring bread and water, anything they can afford within the economic crisis which Prime Minister Erdogan has visited on the country, and make a picnic in Silivri.”
The director of the TV channel Ulusal Kanal, Yener Gunes, evaluated the detentions stating:
“We remind Tayyip Erdogan and his likes, who do not learn from their experiences. On October 29th, 2012 you’ve forbidden the Tandogan Meeting and the people ran over your barricades, walking to Anitkabir (Ataturk’s Mausoleum).”
“You are now making the same mistake again. We have no doubt that the statement of the Istanbul governor, who said “we will not allow the buses, the citizens should not come to Silivri”, but the raids and the detentions will merely the peoples determination to participate on August 5th. This nation will not surrender to the cruelties and the oppression of the government.”
Also renown journalists, including some of those who have been targeted by the Erdogan administration, declared their support for the protesters, and their opposition against the de facto coupd de etat.
Posted by Dr. Christof Lehmann
An article, containing background information and links to related articles and material was published in nsnbc international on 3 August. nsnbc will monitor the situation in Turkey closely and issue reports as the situation develops on 5 August and beyond.
BREAKING 5 August.. Updated throughout the day.