Kader Sevinc - Smart Democracy & Smart Citizenship

Once being served as the venue for grave torture operations during the infamous 12th September (1980) period, the Otağ-ı Hümayun building which is situated within the boundaries of the Davutpaşa Military Barracks, has, in cooperation with the 2010 European Cultural Capital Agency and the Yıldız Technical University, been restored and then inaugurated as a center for art and culture on 27 December 2010. On the same day a group of people, including some DİSK (Turkish Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions) members and the DİSK Chairman Süleyman Çelebi, gathered before the Davutpaşa Campus of the Yıldız Technical University, with the intention to voice up their democratic demand that the building should be reactivated not as a culture center but, as a museum for Human Rights.

Recalling that right after the 12th September military takeover tens of thousands of workers, progressives, democrats, revolutionists and socialists were being imprisoned, DİSK Chairman Süleyman Çelebi also explained that the then DİSK Chairman Abdullah Baştürk and the board members of DİSK were under custody for several days at this building where they were blindfolded and tortured. Mr. Çelebi reiterated that “as members of DİSK, we demand that the building should serve as a Human Rights museum”.

The police intervened strongly using excessive force with crowd control shields and truncheons against the gathered group.

CHP’s Secretary General and Spokeswoman Bihlun Tamaylıgil, speaking at a press conference, expressed that; “We believe that no truncheon can suppress democratic claims which are totally in line with fundamental rights and part of universal freedoms. The AKP government bluntly exhibits its self-styled methods to eliminate any type of idea, opinion or thought which is in contrast with its own state of- mind.

The CHP’s MP from Mersin Ali Rıza Öztürk, addressing Interior Minister Beşir Atalay asked the following; “Why did the police exercise excessive force, whilst there was no need to use any force against the DİSK’s Chairman Süleyman Çelebi and the other members of DİSK as they were simply displaying their democratic right to protest and through which to demand the alteration of the Otağ-ı Hümayun into a Museum for Human Rights?”

Öztürk; raised the following verbal parliamentary question to the attention of the Chair of the Turkish Grand National Assembly which is to be replied by Interior Minister Beşir Atalay;

-How does it comply with the assertion that the Prime Minister and some high ranking AKP officials repeatedly voiced; so to say, “vote yes and call to account 12th September (1980)” before the referendum to amend the constitution on 12 September 2010 and the aggression by the police against DİSK members trying to protest before the Otağ-ı Hümayun in where they were subjected to acts of very harsh torture during the 12th September (1980) era?

-Aren’t the words of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, uttered on 3 September 2010 at a rally in Diyarbakır calling for; “if the Diyarbakır Prison would have a voice, it would tell about the inhuman tortures after the 12th September military takeover”, contradicting the excessive use of force against the DİSK members who wanted to call to account the 12th September 1980 military coup period?

-Who authorized the police units to use excessive force against the DİSK members whose sole purpose were to hold the 12 September 1980 period accountable by means of a public statement to be announced in front of the Otağ-ı Hümayun where DİSK members were once interrogated and tortured?

Do you consider discharging those who permitted the police to use excessive force against the DİSK members who aimed to hold the 12th September era accountable?

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