Below you find a statement from our colleagues of the Turkish Association of Social Workers (TASW) in light of the uprising by Turkish people across the country and the national strike organised by the Trades Unions. Starting from a demonstration to protect Gezi Park from being turned into a commercial hotel, a mass countrywide movement has developed against Prime Minister Recep Tyyip Erdogan. Police have been brutally deployed against their own people.
Statement from IFSW Member, the Turkish Association of Social Workers (TASW):
The right to participation to decision making process in metropolitan areas did not take account by İstanbul Greater Municipality regarding the Project implementing in Taksim Square/İstanbul. Anti-democratic strategies become dominant. There was no room to listen and understand the views of local people of İstanbul. In this process, people decided to use their constitutional/democratic rights by organizing democratic, peaceful gatherings in order to make their voices heard. As social workers, we criticize all illegal practices including police brutality towards people who protest the demolishment last green area called “Gezi Parkı” and consider these a clear violation of human rights.
As a practitioner of social work profession, a human rights profession, we support the efforts of our citizens in order to protect environment. Based our professional knowledge and ethical principles we support to people who advocates their environmental rights.
We inform that social workers are ready to provide psycho-social support to our citizens who involve protests. A group of social workers from İstanbul Branch of TASW will be with them in Taksim Square during protests. We declare our worries as violence become a dominant element in these process. Local authorities should provide health services to people who involve protests.
With our regards