Firat News: Repression against Gezi protests increasing

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) ruled the closure of Turkish channel Ulusal on Thursday on the grounds of  “lack of license” and “authorization”.

In a statement responding to the closure ban, the channel’s General Coordinator of Broadcast, Mustafa Kara, denied the allegations, underlining that Hayat Tv run a satellite broadcast from theTurksat Satellite on the basis of international broadcast licenses since 21 March 2007.

Kara commented the ban as a consequence of the severe repression the media has faced since Gezi Park protests started late May. The channel gave wide coverage to the protests for the last two weeks.

Three days ago, RTÜK imposed a fine on Ulusal TV, Halk TV, Cem TV and EM TV for allegedly promoting violence in society by broadcasting scenes of the events during two weeks of protests. Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) criticized the Board for acting in line with the opinions of the government and not displaying an objective attitude.

On the other hand, the Ministry of Health, in an official information letter to the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB), announced that it has launched an investigation against voluntary doctors and nurses who provided service in medical care centers they formed for demonstrators wounded by police during Gezi Park protests. The Ministry accused voluntary medical staff of “performing a medical intervention on people wounded in illegal demonstrations”.

According to the statement TTB published on its website, the Ministry asked the Union why the medical staff in question took no permission for the “voluntary medical care service” they provided in Gezi Park and demanded to be informed about the names of the medical staff as well as those they treated at these medical centers.

In a statement released on Friday, TTB and six other trade unions of public employees in health services said that Turkish officials are gathering information from hospitals about the names of the people who were hospitalized after suffering injuries during protests.

Health workers condemned the blacklisting of the people and the abuse of health workers in this blacklisting process which -they underlined- threatened people’s right to life.

On the other hand, veterinarian Tolga Yazıcı, member of the Initiative for Animal Rights, said Friday that eight dogs, 63 cats and 1028 birds were killed by the intense tear gas police used against protestors in Taksim in the last 17 days.

Representatives of the Taksim Solidarity Platform went to Ankara late Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Erdoğan for the second time with an aim to come up with a solution to the problem by means of democratic ways and without police intervention.

Following the meeting, Hüseyin Çelik, a spokesman for Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP), said construction work at the park would be suspended until a court ruling on the issue. Çelik noted hat a referendum could be held on the future of Gezi Park after the court’s decision.

Protestors in Gezi Park are however objecting to the decision made at the meeting, saying that Taksim Solidarity does not represent all the protesters, underlining that the issue is not just Gezi Park, and that they will continue their protests. Taksim Solidarity will make a statement in the afternoon after the platform’s delegation who attended the meeting with the PM return to Istanbul today.

A recent poll conducted by KONDA on 4411 participants on Gezi Resistance revealed that Gezi protestors are averagely 28 years old with 79 percent not affiliated with any political organization and 45 percent attending a protest for the first time. According to the poll, 49 percent of participants attended protests to condemn the police violence and 69 percent hearing about the protests through social media.

After Istanbul Governor Hüseyin Avni Mutlu Thursday called on the mothers of the Gezi Park protesters to bring their children home, mothers also took to the Taksim Square in the evening and formed human chain in Gezi Park between their children and riot police, saying they support the struggle of their children and the protests.

14. 06. 2013
Source: Firat News