Turkey: Silence the guns, and stop the massacre

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Press release of the Çiftçi-Sen (Confederation of Small Farmers in Turkey) / October 29, 2015 / The Dawn-.

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We, the peasants, are the ones who watch the plants as they begin to sprout and grow; those who sow the seeds, the seedlings and the new growth on the ground; who rejoice when we see they are growing healthily; we can not sleep when they are sick; we care for our animals as if they were our children.

However, events in the Middle East and in Turkey are now keeping us awake. We are following events with a lump in our throats. Why? Because wars always hit small farmers first. Farmers are forced to leave their villages and lands. Farm families are not only losing their land, but also their lives, and are forced to emigrate. In addition, forests are being destroyed, water is being polluted and nature is at risk of being completely ruined.

Each morning brings news of new massacres. The news of massacres in Turkey are added to the already devastating news of the massacres in Syria and Iraq.

In June, a bomb exploded in Suruç among young people who wanted to bring some toys to Kobani children. 33 people were killed.

Instead of trying to find and capture the perpetrators of the Slaughter of Suruç, the government is increasing police operations aimed at progressive and democratic forces. Young people are dying: whether they are soldiers or civilians, Kurds or Turks. The peace process is “frozen”. Current government policies are dividing people in Turkey by race, nationality and religious denomination. Every social need, every step towards democratic progress is drowning under this oppression.

The government of The Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the President have denied to accept the results of the election held on June 7th, taking advantage of the anti-democratic laws and the grey areas of legislation, they have blocked the formation of a new government and the President has announced, once again, the anticipation of elections.

Then, bombs exploded in a peace rally, which was held against the policies that are quickly polarizing the country and leading to civil and international war. The meeting sought to raise the voice of peace over war, and was organized by DISK (Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey), KESK (Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions), TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) and TTB (Turkish Medical Association). Dozens of mass organizations, including Çiftçi-Sen, and several political leftist parties supported the rally. According to official figures, 97 peace advocates were killed and 400 wounded in the capital, right before the eyes of the State authorities.

Given recent events, we demand that the international community and everyone who cares about justice and peace demand the government of the AKP and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to abandon their war policies and undemocratic practices to silence the guns and to stop the massacres.

Çiftçi-Sen (Confederation of Small Farmers in Turkey) Member of ECVC (European Coordination Via Campesina)

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