For the past few days, Turkish citizens have been protesting peacefully against the destruction of Taksim Gezi Park, one of the few green areas left in the historic heart of Istanbul. Gezi Park represents both the natural and cultural heritage of Istanbul. The government plans to build a large shopping center there instead. On Thursday evening the police attempted crack down the protests by use of force, using teargas and water canons.
The European Green Party strongly advocates the right of citizens to protest peacefully. We therefore call upon the Turkish authorities to immediately stop the police violence.
An Istanbul court on Friday ruled in favor of a petition by a local advocacy group, and halted the building project until parties submitted their arguments to the court; we therefore call upon the authorities to stop the destruction of the park and allow for the rule of law to run its course.
The European Green Party welcomes the statement of the Interior Minister on Friday, who pledged that claims of excessive force would be investigate. The EGP further calls upon the Turkish authorities to begin such an investigation immediately.
The European Green Party firmly supports its Turkish partner Yeşiller ve Sol Gelecek Partisi in their peaceful and civic protest against the destruction of Gezi Park.