Taksim Solidarity stands a trial today. For raising voice against all kinds of injustice and crimes committed by the state against civilians. For trying to stop unlawful destruction and demolition of public spaces. Members of Taksim Solidarity were detained illegally on false charges last year on July 8th, and prosecutors denied a case being opened one after another. Prosecutors were changed with active pressure from the government and finally the newly appointed prosecutor accepted the case and accused Taksim Solidarity of being a terrorist organization.
The 26 members of the Taksim Solidarity have started their defense with Mücella Yapıcı’s remarks. She gave a historical account of the movement and restated the fact that this organization has been founded on February 15th 2012, not on the day when Gezi Park protests began, May 27th 2013. She has emphasized the fact that the people using their constitutionally guaranteed human rights are being put on trial while murderers, and those who have given the orders walk around freely. Yapıcı also stated that the initial aim of Taksim Solidarity was to stop an unlawful attempt to demolish the park and put pressure on authorities to listen to the court’s decision stopping illegal construction projects.
Yapıcı continued to tell how she was detained in the first place. In her words “when the governor Mutlu stated that the park is clear and everyone can enjoy it now, we wanted to go to park when suddenly hundreds of police started surrounding us and we got detained for going to the park. When we asked why we were detained they said that we resisted against police’s arrest. I only turned my back to police, if police accepts this I also do. When we were taken to police station, they carried out strip search. I was taken to men’s toilet, where there was a camera. I have a heart condition and I was not given my medication on time.”
Later when Ali Çerkezoğlu started his defense, he stated “while it is the police, governor, mayor and prime minister that are guilty and should be put on trial, we are the ones brought to court rooms. This court room is not the place to judge this movement, it is the squares where this should take place.”
Trial is being held at the biggest justice palace of Europe, where sound systems do not work, thus leaving the observers deaf regarding the statements. Moreover, only international observers and accredited media members are allowed in the court room. Among the observers is listed Amnesty International which has recently released a report stating that 5.500 people are on trial in Turkey for supporting Gezi Park protests and started a campaign “I am Taksim” (#IamTaksim) defending freedom of expression globally and calling for solidarity with Taksim Solidarity. During the intermission of the trial for lunch, authorities confiscated copies of Amnesty International’s report copies from the representatives of AI.
Taksim Solidarity consists of over a hundred sub organizations, including architects, engineers, doctors, lawyers, academics, researchers, etc.
Trial has been postponed to October 21st 2014, and young activist member of Taksim Solidarity, Cansu Yapıcı’s defense statement was perhaps the most significant of the day:
Cansu Yapıcı: I want to thank the court. We don’t often get the chance to express our demands without being subjected to tear gas.