Added time: 30 May 2014, Friday 11:28
Taksim Solidarity calls for protests in Gezi Anniversary
A Turkish court ordered the arrest of 47 suspects in the Gezi Park case on May 27'th,
While the pioneers of last year's protest called for a May 31'st rally in Taksim to mark the anniversary of Turkey's largest-ever civil uprising.
A total of 255 suspects, including seven foreigners, have been on trial since May 6 on charges ranging from "violating the Meeting and Rallies Law" to "resisting police" and "supporting a criminal." Others who took refuge in Dolmabahçe Mosque on June 1-2, 2013, while running away from the police are accused of violating another law that bans people from dirtying a place of worship.
On 27 May, the court ordered the arrest of 47 suspects who had yet to defend themselves.
The Gezi protests erupted on May 27, 2013, when a small group of protesters refused to leave Gezi Park in Taksim to prevent the cutting of trees where a large development project was planned by the government. Following the government's harsh response, protests spread to the whole country on May 31, 2013.
Meanwhile, Taksim Solidarity, the main organizers of the Gezi Park protests, has announced that a rally will be held in Istanbul's iconic Taksim Square for the anniversary on May 31.
At a press conference on May 27 in Istanbul, Taksim Solidarity spokesperson Mücella Yapıcı also called for anniversary rallies "in Ankara, İzmir, Antakya, Eskişehir, Bursa, Adana, Mersin and Diyarbakır."
"We will be at the squares in order to remind everyone that we have not abandoned our demands and gains to free our squares, parks, streets and lives," said Mucella Yapici, a spokesperson for Taksim Solidarity.
She also said authorities still do not allow citizens to freely use Gezi Park, although the green space has remained as a park thanks to the protests.
"Those who resorted to violence and caused thousands of people to be wounded and 11 people to be killed -- these have not been punished and discharged from their position so far. All of them should be punished and should resign from their posts. Prime Minister Erdogan is among them," Yapici said.
Yapici also called for the use of tear gas by police to be banned and for all those who were taken into custody during the summer protests to be released, with no investigations opened against them.
On the other hand, some 25,000 police officers and 50 water cannon trucks have been assigned to prevent demonstrations marking the anniversary of the Gezi Park protests this weekend in Istanbul, with the city's governor warning that no gathering will be allowed in the Taksim area.
Along with 50 TOMAs and a large number of armored vehicles, helicopters will also be dispatched to conduct air surveillance.