As Turkey runs up to the constitutional referendum that will be held on April 16, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government continues to suppress the voice of ‘no’.
While President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his party are to hold a referendum meeting on April 8 in İstanbul’s Yenikapı district, taking the advantage of entire governmental authorities and forces, the governorship of İstanbul has banned yet another rally of the Communist Party of Turkey, which is scheduled to be held on April 8 in İstanbul’s Kartal district with the slogan, ‘People Say No’. The governorship previously banned a meeting of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), which was to be held on April 2.
The governorship has banned the rally on the grounds of the fact that “two other outdoor meetings will be held in the same day in İstanbul, thus the government will not be able to provide adequate police force for this meeting.”
YOU MAY BAN MEETINGS, BUT YOU CAN NEVER SILENCE US
Upon recent unlawful bans, TKP has made a public declaration: “The Governorship of İstanbul has disallowed the rally of the Communist Party of Turkey that is scheduled to be held on April 8 in İstanbul. The Governorship has conveyed our Party administration that two other meetings other than the rally of TKP will be held in that day in İstanbul, thus there is no adequate police force due to the meetings of AKP and HDP.”
Revealing the unlawful and biased decision of the Turkish Interior Minister, the statement of TKP continues: “The Interior Ministry, therefore, has announced that it will mobilise its all forces to protect Erdoğan in Yenikapı. However, the Communist Party of Turkey does not need any police force to hold a secure and disciplined meeting in Kartal. Indeed, the Governorship has exactly implied, ‘We do not have enough police force to prevent, isolate and intimidate those citizens who will participate your meetings’.”
Indicating that the government imposes bans on referendum activities in order to portray the ‘no’ side of the referendum as “provocateurs”, TKP’s statement says: “Those who also banned an outdoor activity of TKP last week intend to silence the voice of the people. This is yet another scandal during the referendum process which is continuing with complete injustice and biases.”
TKP concludes the statement: “We will not allow President Erdoğan to say ‘They instigate troubles again’ in Yenikapı. We will pursue this incident in terms of laws. We will politically prove once again that they will not be able to silence the voice of the working people.”
TKP has called the people to come together on April 8 across the country to raise the voice of ‘no’ with the Party’s weekly journal, ‘Boyun Eğme’ (‘Do Not Surrender’) with the attendance of thousands of people, trade unionists, intellectuals, artists and academicians.