The press release which has been issued on the web site of the Office of the Chief of General Staff on June 8, 2007 is an unacceptable statement in terms of democracy, rule of law, and human rights.
In the concerned statement:
a) Peace, freedoms and democracy defenders are directly TARGETED through being defined as “individuals and organizations using these concepts AS A SCREEN FOR THE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION.”
b) All the citizens who are critical of the current “national and unitary structure” are being reflected as a threat against the Republic of Turkey, and different thoughts are convicted.
c) The above mentioned individuals and organizations are announced as the RESPONSIBLES of the increase in terror activities which occurred lately and are TARGETED in actual and legal terms once again.
d) The people are agitated to be out on the streets in a very dangerous and an unpredictable way by saying “The expectation of the Turkish Armed Forces is that the great Turkish nation is going to demonstrate a MASS OPPOSITION REFLEX against these kinds of terror events” in the press release. It is not a far probability that this would cause big lynch and attacking cases.
In a democratic state of law, it is clear that the highest ranking commanding level of the armed forces has no right and authority to deliver such a statement. We also have the right to ask the questions below against such a clear attack on defenders of democracy, rule of law, freedom and peace:
1) Since it was clearly and certainly known that “…terror would increase after May 2007”, why were there no effective measures to prevent such activities taken?
2) Which measures were blocked by the defenders of democracy, freedom and peace?
3) Is it asked to discard rule of law and democracy by labeling defending rule of law and democracy as “supporting terror.”?
4) Whom and which bodies will be responsible if some groups attempt lynching and organize attacks against defenders of democracy and rule of law, and those who “they think supports terror” because of their identities?
In fact, there are many questions to be asked.
We clearly state that, as human rights defenders, we will never bow to pressure. We have always opposed violence, and we still oppose it today. We also oppose failure of law and human rights violations. No single one should suspect that we will continue on objecting violence, attacks and war wherever it comes from; and continue on defending human rights.
HUMAN RIGHTS JOINT PLATFORM
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL TURKEY
HELSINKI CITIZENS’ ASSEMBLY
HUMAN RIGHTS FOUNDATION OF TURKEY
HUMAN RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
ORGANIZATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS & SOLIDARITY FOR OPPRESSED PEOPLE