Repression of Ecotopia camp & 30 arrested at die-in in Turkey
Shocking repression in Turkey!
Greens, environmentalists, peace and nature supporters, and NGO's from all over the World gathered on the 9th of August to join the 20th international Ecotopia gathering being held at Sarikum nature reserve in Sinop, Turkey. Ecotopia gatherings promote sustainable ways of living, harmony with nature, and discuss social justice issues. This year, Ecotopia has supported local anti-nuclear groups, raised consciousness of nuclear issues and promoted alternative energy sources. However, for the last week, local police have been exerting supression on the camp by making regular visits, and following and intimidating participants outside of the camp.
On Wednesday 20th August, 6 internationals and 5 Turkish people were placed under custody while staging a peaceful vigil outside the Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK) in Sinop. Police have also shown supression towards locals of Gerze town who approached the Ecotopia camp to request solidarity against the Thermal Coal Plant planned for construction in their town. Today, the 22nd August, approximately 10 armed officers, ordered by the governor of Sinop, raided the Ecotopia camp to threaten forceful eviction if the sýte was not emptied within 3 hours. In summary, 2 days before our legal permit for he site ends, it has been forcefully demanded that we shut down activities immediately.
In Turkey, where democracy is regressing, the authorities do not tolerate the advocacy of their people to lýve a safe, sustainable and healthy life. In addition, authorities in the Turkish state and Sinop (where it it planned to build one nuclear technology centre and 3 Thermal Coal plants) are dýsturbed by the increasing local attention on these projects, and are reluctant to allow people's awareness and knowledge to grow independently. As participants representing more than 30 countries, we are asking for your solidarity, and request you to send the following text to the Turkish authorities using the contact information given below.
For a nuclear-free world and a more democratic Turkey, let's block the phones and faxes of the Turkish authorities!
Ecotopia 2008 participants
EYFA (European Youth For Action)
SINYAD (Sinop Nükleersiz Kent ve Yaþam Derneði)
To whom it may concern,
We have been informed that the Ecotopia meeting being held at Sarikum nature reserve in Sinop, which was announced and received approval of its permit many months ago, is now undergoing a period of intense police suppression. This event is legitimate and legal, and we are demanding that the pressure is released. We will keep ourselves informed on how this situation develops and will follow up on this request if necessary.
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ýçiþleri Bakanlýðý (Ministry of Internal Affairs)
Telefon: +90 (312 )425 72 14
Fax: + 90 (312) 418 12 60
LÜTFEN ÇEVRENÝZE DAÐITINIZ...
Acil Dayanýþma Çaðrýsý – 22 Aðustos 2008, Sinop
Dünyanýn dört bir yanýndan yeþiller, çevreciler, doða ve barýþ yanlýlarý ve çeþitli örgütler olarak bu yýl 20.'si yapýlan "Uluslararasý Ekotopya Buluþma"mýzý gerçekleþtirmek üzere 9 Aðustos'ta Sinop Sarýkum'da toplandýk. Bu yýl Ekotopya'nýn amacý yerel anti-nükleer guruplarla dayanýþma saðlamak, yenilenebilir enerji kaynaklarý ve sosyal adalet konularý üzerinde bilinç arttýrmaktý. Bu etkinlik doðayla uyumlu ve sürdürebilir bir yaþam hayalimizi kýsacasý 'ekotopyamýzý' kamp deneyimimizde somutlaþtýrdýðýmýz, ekolojik bir yaþamýn mümkün olduðunu gördüðümüz, gösterdiðimiz, her katýlanýn evine bambaþka biri olarak döndüðü, her sene tekrarlanan 15 günlük ortak düþümüz, ütopyamýzdý. Ancak özellikle son bir haftadýr aralýksýz devam eden polis ve jandarma baskýsý bu düþü bir kabusa çevirdi.
Önce, Sinop'taki Türkiye Atom Enerjisi Kurumu (TAEK) önünde 20 Agustos Çarþamba günü nükleer enerjiyle ilgili olarak haklý bilgilendirmek amacýyla yaptýðýmýz barýþçýl bir eylem sýrasýnda 6 yabancý uyruklu, 5 TC vatandaþý, 11 arkadaþýmýz gözaltýna alýndý. Ardýndan bizlere destek olmak için gelen ve yaþadýklarý bölgede kurulmasý düþünülen termik santrale karþý seslerini daha fazla duyurabilmek için bizlerden destek bekleyen Gerze halký sadece bizimle görüþtüðü için jandarmanýn baskýlarýna maruz kaldý. Son olarak da bugün bölge jandarmasýndan gelen yaklaþýk on kiþilik grup, hemen kamp alanýný terk etmemiz gerektiðini, aksi halde zor kullanarak kampý daðýtacaklarýný söylediler. Özetle iznimizin bitmesine iki gün kala etkinliðimiz tehditlerle engellenmeye çalýþýlmaktadýr.
Demokrasinin giderek gerilediði Türkiye'de, bugün otoritelerin artýk yaþamýn savunulmasýna dahi tahammülü kalmamýþtýr. Yine görülmektedir ki üç termik ve bir nükleer teknoloji merkezi kurulmasý planlanan Sinop'ta etkili güçler ve TC devleti Sinop halkýnýn uyanýþýndan ve festivalimize giderek artan ilgisinden rahatsýz olmaktadýr. Türkiye Cumhuriyeti hiçbir biçimde örgütlü ve bilinçli bir toplum istememekte, giderek bir polis devletine dönüþmektedir. Yaklaþýk 30 ülkeden Ekotopya'nýn katýlýmcýsý bireyler olarak bizler, bu baskýlarýn giderek artmasýndan endiþe duyuyoruz.
Sizleri de aþaðýdaki hazýr metni kurumunuz ya da kendiniz adýna, iletiþim bilgilerini verdiðimiz Türk kurumlarýna göndererek bizimle dayanýþmaya çaðýrýyoruz.
Dünyamýzýn geleceði ve daha özgür bir Türkiye için bakanlýðýn ve Sinop valiliðinin fakslarýný kilitleyelim!
Ekotopya 2008 Katýlýmcýlarý
EYFA (European Youth For Action)
SÝNYAD (Sinop Nükleersiz Kent ve Yaþam Derneði)
Aylar öncesinden Türk otoritelerine ve Sinop Halkýna duyurulan "Ekotopya Buluþmasýnýn" Jandarma baskýsýyla engellenmek istendiðini haber almýþ bulunmaktayýz. Bütünüyle yasal ve meþru olan etkinlik üzerindeki baskýlarýn ortadan kalkmasýný talep ediyoruz. Aksi halde ulusal ve uluslararasý kamuoyu olarak olayýn takipçisi olacaðýmýzý bildirmek isteriz.
Ýsim / Kurum :
Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Ýçiþleri Bakanlýðý:
Telefon: +90 (312 )425 72 14
Faks: + 90 (312) 418 12 60
30 arrested at die-in during environmental gathering Ecotopia in Turkey
Sinop (Turkey), 23rd of August. This afternoon, Turkish police arrested 30 foreigners from at least 18 countries and 3 Turkish citizens who took part in a peaceful "die-in" action in front of the Sinop province Governor`s residence in Sinop.
On request of the German Embassy the Sinop Police Headquarters claimed that nobody was taken under custody.
The protests are directed against the plans to build a Nuclear Technology Centre in the Sinop region. Participants are members of environmentalist movements worldwide. They want to draw attention to the fact that nuclear energy is dangerous, polluting and expensive. Instead of investing in nuclear technology, Turkey should use its great potential for solar and wind power, as well as increasing energy efficiency.
"The Turkish state seems to be very afraid of their citizens learning how dangerous nuclear power is. That is why authorities do not tolerate any protest, especially when foreigners are involved. We are seriously concerned about the denial of freedom of speech in Turkey.", says Niklas Hartmann from Germany.
The action took place while the camp is under threat of eviction.
The 32 arrested people are sitting at the police station still. There is no official statement of arrest or custody. When embassies asked for information on arrestants police actually denied to have taken people into custody(...).
The group has been split into smaller groups and taken to hospital for the compulsory check on torture and is now back at the station. They have been refused access to their lawyer, a certified translator and to contact their embassy and even access to food and water.
Rumours have it that our lawyer was told by the police that people didn't want to see him.
People have been asked to sign papers in Turkish without translation. Before the promised release they will have to see a prosecutor, even though they are not formally arrested.
23.20h: first group of 6 people got released, probably because they signed the papers. We'll deal with it now.
To be continued...
Everybody followed by undercover police all the time. Several people picked from the street that had nothing to do with the action! Finally, nobody has seen the prosecuter, but everybody out now. Police wanted to deport us from town back to camp site before everybody was released. Situation was really threatening. People now staying with trade unions. More tomorrow.
[press release] Police threatens Ecotopia camp in Turkey with eviction
In the moment, the participants of the 20th Ecotopia international environmentalist gathering at Sarikum nature reserve, Sinop, on the Turkish Black Sea coast, are awaiting and preparing for forceful eviction of their camp site by the Jandarma (Turkish Police), which are already present with undercover agents and several cars. The 70 participants from over 30 countries will peacefully resist this unjustified raid. The offical reason for the announced eviction was the announcement of the intention to take part in the weekly permitted press conference of the local anti-nuclear initiative SÝNYAD (Sinop Nükleersiz Kent ve Yaþam Derneði).
Approximately 10 armed officers, ordered by the governor of Sinop, had already raided the camp on Friday to threaten forceful eviction if the site was not emptied within 3 hours. Later, this deadline was postponed to the next morning. Two days before, six participants of the camp together with local activists were arrested during an action in front of the office of the Turkish Nuclear Energy Agency (TAEK) in Sinop. After only ten minutes of spreading flyers and holding a banner, they were physically aggressed by undercover police without any prior warning. They were held in a police station for several hours and fined for not obeying police orders. Police have also shown supression towards locals of Gerze town who approached the Ecotopia gathering to request solidarity against the Thermal Coal Plant planned for construction in their town.
“We are shocked by the behaviour of the police and local authorities who did not allow any peaceful protest to happen. They have also been constantly threatening participants of the camp and denying them, as well as locals, the right to publically express their opinion. Now they have cancelled the camp just because we announced that we would like to take part in an officially permitted anti-nuclear protest. This is not what we consider to be freedom of speech! ”, says Lenka Kukurova, representative of European Youth for Action (EYFA), the network that supports the Ecotopia gatherings.
The protests are directed against the plans to build a Nuclear Technology Centre in the Sinop region. The 20th international Ecotopia gathering is taking place in Turkey this year, to support local movements to keep Turkey free of nuclear power. Participants of the camp are members of environmentalist movements worldwide. They want to draw attention to the fact that nuclear energy is dangerous, polluting and expensive. Instead of investing in nuclear technology, Turkey should use its great potential for solar and wind power, as well as increasing energy efficiency.