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Solidarity For Turkish Protesters From Around The World

By Countercurrents.org

04 June, 2013

Progressives around the world are expressing solidarity with the people opposing the authoritarian regime in Turkey . Leila Khaled, the brave daughter of the Palestinian people, and the Greek progressives have stood for the Turkish people.

"You have to stay in the square, in Taksim, until the government accepts your demands.  Don't leave it.  [Stay] there with your peaceful demonstration, your peaceful strike, sit-in.  And I call upon women to join it on a wide scale everywhere, in the squares in different cities, not only in Taksim.  Long live the people's struggle for their rights!", said Leila Khaled, the Palestinian fighter who hijacked an aeroplane and made headlines around the world.[1]

Leila Khaled is a politburo member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.  She is currently in Amed/Diyarbakir for the First Middle East Women's Conference. 

Greek progressives

An Athens datelined report [2] said:

Supporters of the Greek Communist Party held a rally in solidarity with the Turkish protesters in Athens June 3, 2013 .

"Authoritarianism is broken on the street, solidarity with the Turkish people," chanted the demonstrators from various leftist groups including the main opposition radical left Syriza party.

"From Taksim Square to Athens , we fight poverty and hunger," they sang, referring to Istanbul 's main square where demonstrators rallied.
The Athens demonstration included a group of Kurdish refugees who held a banner in Greek and Turkish: "Overturn the regime".
A similar protest had been held in the northern city of Thessaloniki on June 2, 2013 .
Syriza , Greece 's second largest party, has condemned the Turkish police's heavy-handed response to the protests and called on EU authorities to put pressure on Ankara .
"All over Turkey there are protests over press freedom, union rights, the rights of Kurds, women and the right to protest. It is imperative that Erdogan listens," Syriza said.

World celebrities  

An Istanbul datelined report [3] said:

World-known celebrities voiced concern and opposition to the ongoing police violence in Turkey with the likes of Madonna and Tilda Swinton showing support for the protesters.

Soon after the events erupted, Madonna shared a picture on her personal Instagram account, with the caption, “Stop the Violence in Turkey ! Start a Revolution of LOVE! Tolerance=Human Dignity and Respect!”

US actor Mark Ruffalo was one of the first famous supporters of the movement, retweeting information from Turkish protesters and international organizations, including Occupy movements around the world that have been focused on the ongoing clashes in Turkey.

“Be safe and strong! Something tremendous is happening in Turkey ,” was the latest show of support from the American actor.

Iconic actress Tilda Swinton also joined in, with a photo of the actress making the viral rounds, showing Swinton holding a sign that reads, “Dear citizens of the world, right now, police is violently attacking citizens that are protesting the government in Istanbul.”

Swinton joined in with a photo of the actress showing Swinton holding the sign: “Dear citizens of the world …

Iconic actress Tilda Swinton also joined in, with a photo of the actress making the viral rounds, showing Swinton holding a sign that reads, “Dear citizens of the world, right now, police is violently attacking citizens that are protesting the government in Istanbul.”

British comedian Russel Brand also took it to Twitter to speak on the issue, with his final tweet reading, “Our leaders are trusted servants, not our masters.”

American actor Joseph Gordon-Lewitt chipped in with a series of tweets from media links and personal retweets, where American film-producer, director and screenwriter Judd Apatow joined in with an emotional, “I am with you. I am a quarter Turkish.”

Legendary Roger Waters released a moving statement on June 2 on his official Facebook page, stating, “There is nothing more important than what you are doing today,” written all in capitals.

“We are not physically with you in the water cannon's fire, in the tear gas clouds, but we are with you in spirit. We applaud your stand for we know it is not easy,” Waters said, sending his “love, tears and huge respect” to the Turkish protesters.

American actor Rainn Wilson also showed support for the crowds by directing his followers to a social media page that hosts hundreds of photos from the ongoing protests.

Musician Moby also tweeted, “I really hope that Erdogan and the AKP are paying attention. Turkey is a democracy, not a theocracy.”

Writer Etgar Keret also commented: "I'm following what's happening in Istanbul . It is both depressing and inspiring. It takes great courage to go out to the streets when the Police and leadership i so brutal and the fact that young people are willing to risk it to express their thoughts and criticism of a regime that seems to disregard them and some basic value of freedom and the freedom of speech is admirable."

Another Istanbul datelined report [4] added:

Familiar faces of Turkish television including the cast and crew of the hit show The Magnificent Century (Muhtesem Yüzyil), were all spotted in Taksim Square in support of protesters amid ongoing Gezi Park clashes, with Halit Ergenç calling on officials to end the violence.

Halit Ergenç was leading the entire cast of the globally known TV show, with actors Mehmet Günsur, Ozan Güven, Serkan Altunorak, Deniz Çakir and others all leaving the set to join the protesters yesterday. DHA photo

Halit Ergenç was leading the entire cast of the globally known TV show, with actors Mehmet Günsur, Ozan Güven, Serkan Altunorak, Deniz Çakir and others all leaving the set to join the protesters yesterday. DHA photo

“The only way to solve this issue is to quit this attitude of ‘I did so, so it is done,' and instead listen to what these people want, and to form a democratic platform through which these wishes can be heard. Please end this violence, and start to listen, and to understand,” Ergenç said, in a statement released on his Facebook page.

Turkish singer Tarkan also postponed several tour dates in accordance with the ongoing protests and voiced support for the demonstrators.

A joint press statement was read by a group of artists late on June 2, in front of the iconic Atatürk Culture Center at the square, which heavily targeted the Turkish media for lack of objectivity in covering the events.

Zeki Demirkubuz, Selma Ergenç, Demet Evgar, Devrim Evin, Nedim Saban, Tardu Flordun, Özgü Namal, Azra Akin and Can Bonomo were also among the celebrities seen in Taksim throughout the protests.

Erdogan's row with Reuter's reporter

A report [5] from Istanbul said:

Turkish PM Erdogan argued with Reuters reporter Birsen Altayli about the seven-day long Taksim Gezi Park protests, accusing her of misinforming her agency about the situation in the country.

“Don't tell me that all of society [is supporting the protests], I will not believe it,” Erdogan told the reporter. “There might be extensions of ideological structures [behind the protests]. This might have gotten them to revolt. You have to see that. What haven't we done in this country that [led the protesters to] take such a step?” said Erdogan.

Altayli also asked the prime minister whether more protesters were coming out onto the streets because he had underestimated their strength.

Erdogan replied, asking what he could do to moderate the protests. “If you can tell me [what to do], I'll do it,” he said.

“There is 50 percent of [the country who voted for the ruling Justice and Development Party - AKP], and we can barely keep them at home [and prevent them from coming onto the streets for counter-protests]. But we have called on them to calm down,” the PM said after Altayli said the people on the ground did not represent any single party and that they included students and housewives, unlike Erdogan's claims.

After the Reuters reporters said the people on the ground had demands about education and recent alcohol restrictions, Erdogan said he had seen no demands about education and accused Altayli of misinforming her agency about the situation.

Before Altayli's question session with the prime minister, she had 195 followers on Twitter, but the number exploded to more than 54,000 shortly after the argument.


[1] Leila Khaled's Message from Amed / Diyarbakir to #OccupyGezi, Video by Baris Yildirim (aka Ozan Baran)

[2] AFP, “Greek leftists march in support of Turkish protesters”,


[3] Hürriyet Daily News, “World celebrities join in against police violence in Turkey ”,


[4] Hürriyet, “'Magnificient Century' cast leads stars at Taksim protests”,


[5] Hürriyet Daily News, “Turkish PM gets into row with Reuters reporter over Taksim protests”,







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