Saturday, November 12, 2016

Erdogan shuts down the Peace Association of Turkey- Solidarity with the Turkish people and Barış Derneği!

As the AKP government urges to take the advantage of the state of emergency that was declared following the coup attempt on 15th July, statutory decrees are being put into action in order to impose anti-democratic decisions to increase the political oppression.

A new statutory decree that has been approved by the parliament requires 370 associations and non-governmental organisations in 40 cities to be unlawfully shut down under the pretext of “relations with terrorist groups that are harmful to the national security”, including leftist organisations such as the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD).

The Peace Association of Turkey (Barış Derneği) is one of the organisations that are affected by the decision.

Last night, the police raided the association headquarters in Istanbul and threatened to forcibly enter by “breaking the door down unless the association administration opens”. It was revealed that the official notice on the Peace Association instructs the officers to seize the associations’s legal books, records, computers, and memory sticks.

The police then locked up and sealed the association headquarters since they failed to open the door.

As a member of the World Peace Council, the Peace Association of Turkey struggles for a world where everyone can live in peace on the basis of equality and freedom. The association works in coordination with other peace associations of the world against fascist, war-monger, chauvinist, militarist and imperialist propaganda.

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Statement of the President of the Peace Association of Turkey
12 November 2016
Struggle for peace is not subject to a government decision

The activities of the Peace Association of Turkey were suspended for 3 months. The decision taken by the Turkish Ministry of Interior for suspending the activities of many organisations is another example of lawlessness of the government. The ministry does not have such a right. This decision is not even based on a State of Emergency decree. This shows that the arbitrary steps taken by the government are not even tried to be disguised by law. The Peace Association of Turkey will escalate its struggle through political and legal ways against this attack.

Peace Association of Turkey being besmirched by being linked with any other organisation does not have any plausibility. The only “connection” of the Peace Association of Turkey is the World Peace Council, which is accredited by the United Nations. The Peace Association is a member of the WPC Executive Committee.

The Peace Association of Turkey is the political successor of the Turkish Peace-lovers Organisation founded in 1950 and the Turkish Peace Association founded in 1972. This tradition started its journey by opposing Turkish troops to be sent to the Korean War and recently opposed the war policies in Syria. It is not possible to stop this struggle with such a lawless decision or in any other way. 
We are warning the government. The struggle for peace is not subject to your decisions. We acquire our legitimacy from the longing for peace; we will continue to do so.

We are calling on all peace forces to show their solidarity with the peace-loving people of Turkey and their struggle.
Zuhal Okuyan, President of the Peace Association of Turkey
Aydemir Güler, Secretary of the Peace Association of Turkey.

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The World Peace Council (WPC) expresses its condemnation to the decision of the Turkish authorities to suspend some hundreds of Social Organisations and Movements for three months under the pretext of investigating them for alleged relations with "terrorist actions". Amongst them is the Peace Association (Baris Dernegi), which is the historical member of the WPC and of its Exceutive Committee. We denounce the action to shut down the offices of the Peace Associaiton in Istanbul by the police forces yesterday and express our serious concern about the real motives and goals behind this authoritarian and antidemocratic act.
The WPC expresses its solidarity with the people of Turkey, with the peace loving forces and our friends from the Peace Association (Baris Dernegi) with who we share the common struggle for peace in the region. We demand the lifting of the suspension of the Peace Associaition and of the other social organisations.
12th November 2016
WPC Secretariat
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In a statement issued today, the Greek Committee for International Detente and Peace (EEDYE) condemns the decision of the Turkish government to shut down the Peace Association of Turkey and expresses its full solidarity with the people of Turkey and the Peace Association of the country.