Sunday, November 06, 2016

October 10 is not only a day of commemoration; it is also a day of struggle!

We lost 101 friends, of which 16 were members of our party, in the October 10 Ankara massacre. The demands they had chanted in favour of on that Black Day – labour, peace and democracy – still maintain their urgency and importance.
The Ankara massacre took place at a highly tense period in our country and the Middle East. The expansionist neo-Ottomanist foreign policy of the AKP government in Syria and in the Middle East had worsened the war, and its sectarian and nationalist policies had polarised and fragmented the masses, so as to liquidate the hard-won rights of the working class. The bombing in Reyhanlı, Hatay in 2013 was a result of the Syria policy of the AKP government. Besides, disapproving of the results of parliamentary elections held on 7 June 2015, the rulers decision to run a new election. The government had also knocked over the negotiation table with the Kurds in Turkey. Under these conditions, thousands of people gathered in Ankara to demand peace and democracy; 101 demonstrators were killed in front of Ankara Railway Station.
Bombings in İstanbul, Gaziantep and Ankara followed the massacre. War policies of the government were tenaciously followed within and outside Turkish borders, resulting in the loss of scores of lives. Apart from the blasts in the last year, Turkey has also witnessed an attempted coup. Following this, the government who called the failed coup “a gift from God” orchestrated an autocoup or self-coup. As part of the cleansing operation: almost 100 thousand public sector workers have been dismissed; a vast number of people have been arrested; dissident TV channels, newspapers and radios have been shut down.
October 10 is not a day when we only grieve our losses. As long as the political climate leading to this massacre prevails, October 10 would be a day we fight for democracy and settle scores with the culprits of this massacre. It’s the government that creates this atmosphere.
The prohibition of the October 10 commemorations in Ankara isn’t acceptable. Despite these attempts, the truth will come to light, and the perpetrators will be held to account. We will fervidly fight for this for as long as it takes.
As exhibited in the documents that have seen daylight after the massacre, the likelihood of a massacre was known to the security forces. The struggle for revealing this reality would continue. The struggle for the prosecution and sentencing of officials at all levels – the intelligence service, police, etc.- who are responsible for this massacre would continue.
We have made a promise to the brave friends we lost on October 10: we will vehemently struggle for democracy, peace and freedom. At a time when the fascistic rule of the AKP is being swiftly installed; the October 10 trial would be an arena wherein we fight for democracy and settle scores via legal means with the culprits of this massacre.
At a time of the country is dragged into the Syrian quagmire; the clashes and massacres continued within the borders of Turkey; repression and police violence are increasing in our country; it is not only our political duty to enhance the struggle for democracy and peace but also our obligation to the friends we’ve lost on October 10.
We call on all the labour, peace and democracy forces to unite for this purpose.
Selma Gürkan
President of Labour Party

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