HDP: Gezi was a collective movement of hope

Seven years ago the Gezi uprising began in Istanbul and spread throughout Turkey. To mark the anniversary, the HDP says that the conditions that led to the collective resistance are unchanged.

The central executive committee of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has released a statement marking the anniversary of the Istanbul "Gezi uprising" seven years ago: "The AKP reacted violently to the peaceful opposition and democratic civil disobedience of the people who initially protested against the cutting down of trees in central Istanbul and the lack of involvement of the people in the restructuring plans. This aggressive wave of violence killed eleven people and thousands were injured. While the government's actions became more and more brutal, the voice of the democratic public rose up nationwide and created an incomparable spirit of resistance.”

The conditions for the resistance remain unchanged

"Hope is something you can sow and reap. The Gezi resistance was a collective movement of hope," the HDP statement says and continues;

"Our social reality and the steps towards truth have thus been transformed into a single step. In this sense, the light lit in the darkness will always endure and illuminate our further path.

The meaning that it has for us, that is, for the peoples, the marginalized, those learning to fight, those formed by their labor, those who continue to exist through great sacrifices, to gather around a tree is unknown to those in power. Trees have been the language of life for us since Gezi. Millions of people have spoken this language and will continue to speak it.

As is well known, the conditions under which this resistance arose have not changed. The need to fight for democracy, peace and equality has remained undiminished and even increased as the government has not promoted justice and freedom, but injustice, tension, polarisation, violence, conflict and lawlessness. While the state declares war on its own citizens and makes it a daily ritual in the streets, we who fight for dignity will continue to talk about dignity and not remain silent.

Against the attacks of the government, whose policy consists of bribery, whose justice consists of corruption, whose language is poisoned and whose conscience is blind, we declare that the park, the tree, the water, the air, the stream, the earth and life belong to all of us".

At the end of its statement, the HDP recalls the people who lost their lives in the Gezi Resistance, saying: "We will not forget them and we will not let them be forgotten."

Gezi protests

The Gezi protests began in May 2013 against a planned construction project on the grounds of the Gezi Park, which is directly adjacent to Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. The local protests quickly expanded into a nationwide resistance movement against the authoritarian policies of then Prime Minister and now President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after police cracked down on the movement. Finally, the protests were bloodily suppressed - eleven people died, thousands more were injured.