Thousands commemorate Gezi Park protests in İstanbul’s İstiklal Street on 4th anniversary

Thousands of people rallied on İstanbul’s İstiklal Street to mark the fourth anniversary of Gezi Park protests in 2013.
The crowd was also joined by the families of protesters who lost their lives during the protests in 2013 and marched until the police barricades at Taksim Square of İstanbul.

The families of Berkin Elvan, Ahmet Atakan, Ali İsmail Korkmaz, Hasan Ferit Gedik and Ethem Sarısülük, who were killed by police forces during Gezi protests in 2013, were also participated in the rally together with the main opposition Republican People’s Party deputies Sezgin Tanrıkulu and Ali Şeker, a member of the Freedom and Democracy Party’s (ÖDP) board of executives, Alper Taş, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) deputy Garo Paylan.

Those, who participated in the rally, have been wearing T-shirts with pictures of the Gezi victims. The T-shirts said, “No, it is not over, the struggle continues, Gezi is in its fourth year.” Demonstrators staged a sit-in protest after being prevented from advancing further toward Gezi Park. Demonstrators chanted the names of those killed in the 2013 protests, shouting, “They are alive” in unison.

“Our Gezi resistance that stood as an example to the world, that gave hope, of which those in power were scared like a ghost, is four years old today,” said Mücella Yapıcı, a prominent member of the Taksim Solidarity Platform and an urban planner. “Those in power are still scared of the Gezi resistance four years on and keep harping on it. They are right in being scared.”

The Gezi protests erupted on May 27, 2013, when a small group of protesters refused to leave Gezi Park in Taksim to prevent the cutting of trees where a large development project was planned by the government under the rule of Turkey’s current autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as then-Prime Minister of the country. Following Erdoğan government’s harsh response, protests spread to the whole country on May 31, 2013. Eight people were killed, thousands of protesters were wounded in police violence during the protests.

June 1, 2017

 

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