People in Geneva rise to show solidarity with Turkish protesters
Merih Angu, PhD student of political science at the Geneva institute, participant of Geneva local protests.
Tell us what were you doing on the streets of Geneva? What were you protesting against?
As you already talked about, there was a good summary of what is happening both in Turkey and in Europe, series of peaceful demonstrations were held in Gezi park in the city center, which was planned to be demolished for the reconstruction of historical army barracks to serve as a shopping mall and residential buildings. And as we all know on May 31st the Turkish police attacked the protesters violently with tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannons. They were actually targeted bodies.
After determination of this news of social media people of the country independently from all political parties spontaneously arouse out of their conscience to show solidarity with the peaceful protesters on streets. However, the government failure to respect the fundamental rights combined with ongoing use of excessive power by police forces have created discontent among people in Turkey.
So, mainstream media completely ignored the events at first, later it went on to support strictly the pro-government perspective. And our main source of information has been confirmed material from the social media, which the Prime Minister describes as the biggest plague. For the people, on the other hand, social media remains the only way of communication with each other and alert the international media.
It was the first description of the current situation in Turkey of how the government treats as peaceful protestors, freedom of expression and the rights of information, which led to widespread upspring across the country and also among the Turkish citizens living in Europe. This is not the only incident though.
What we did yesterday was to organize a big protest in Geneva. We placed right in front of the UN building. We had hundreds of people who claim to stand up against this autocratic regime.
People of Turkey are not heard by their government and the continuation of demolishing of Gezi Park even after peaceful public opposition ended with ruthless attacks promoted by the Turkish government.