Solidarity Call for Gerze Community in Turkey, who successfully defended its land against the power plant company and the state violence
Sign the Solidarity Letter For Gerze Community, who has been fighting the power plant company and the state violence directed against them!
We stand together with the people of Gerze! Let’s globalize the resistance!
On the 24th August 2011 in Yaykýl village of Gerze province, city of Sinop, located in the northern Black Sea coast of Turkey, the local community – after waiting at the gates of the village day and night - has successfully kicked out the representatives of Anadolu Group (one of the most wealthy and powerful holdings in Turkey) who were planning to do exploration studies for a coal-fired thermal power plant. Once again the local community, successfully defending its land against the power plant company for 2 years now, faced police violence on 5th September 2011.
Despite all the resistance of the public of Gerze, insistence of Anadolu Group to construct this 1200 MW imported coal-fired thermal power plant (aiming to produce 4% of electricity demand in Turkey) was taken a step further with their attempts to do exploration studies in the field with the military police (jandarma) and riot police’s back-up support in Yaykýl village. The people of Gerze, defending their lives and ecosystem, were subject to pepper-spray bombs, pressurized water, batons and even rubber bullets for about 12 hours and yet have shown that they will not allow this power plant construction no matter what it may take.
Bullet shots were heard, many villagers were injured, trees burned and hardships were seen during transfer of the injured villagers to the nearby hospitals during the operation on Yaykýl. Some villagers were taken under custody and a court case has been opened. Despite all the unleashed violence, the company couldn’t finish its exploration study in the field.
It has been learned that the company has not filed any official application to local authorities in order to undertake exploration study in the region as regards the information inquired by the local community. Yet the big question is how did the police forces act on behalf of the company or on which legal terms did they carry out this operation? These questions may be answered by investigating the role of governorship in sending the riot police to a zone normally under military police’s (jandarma) responsibility. Moreover while the Roman and early Byzantine remains in the region should be declared as a archeological / protected site, from where does the governor takes his power to see himself above the local history, culture and nature?
What we have witnessed in Gerze once more shows that state apparatus in Turkey and its police force are in the service of the capital and its unprecedented greed to destroy nature and life. It can not be a mere coincidence that those who used brutal violence causing the death of Metin Lokumcu protesting against the privatization of water in eastern Black Sea province of Hopa just a few months ago, are now using the same scale of violence against people of Gerze protecting their lands. AKP (Justice and Development Party) Government, in its self-declared period of “mastership” following 2 consecutive terms in the office, seems to have identified those who oppose the colonization of labor, nature and live by the capital as its enemies and seems to be determined to repress them with violence.
Yet despite all this violence and repression, resistance is spreading against the destruction of the nature. Today the resistance in Hopa is inspiring the people of Gerze. Tomorrow millions struggling for an emancipated country in Turkey and exploitation-free world elsewhere will learn from the resistance experience of the people of Gerze.
Thus we stand with those who resist everywhere, just like we were in Gerze yesterday!
We call onto all democratic powers, social movements and our comrades from afar and nearby to stand in solidarity with the most legitimate struggle of people in Gerze and join us in this declaration by signing onto this call!
the organizations or institutions that want to sign this solidarity letter, please contact to the following e-mail adress: email@example.com