Long Live International Solidarity

We are pleased to announce that Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) and Academics for Peace – UK (BAK-UK) organised a fantastic fundraising event at the NEU /  NUT Head office on 23rd November. The event was attended by more than 100 people including academics, teachers, trade union representatives and political activists.  There were speeches from academics in the UK and from those in Turkey who lost their jobs following the purge in Turkey.

The event was generously hosted by the NEU/NUT and was attended by the Chair, Louise Regan who also made a speech supporting the work of SPOT and highlighting the importance of standing with the academics and teachers in Turkey.

The event was opened with welcome speeches from Oktay Sahbaz, from SPOT and Prof. Mehmet Ugur from BAK-UK. Both of the speakers stressed the importance of supporting the democratic struggle of the people in Turkey.

Dr Noemi Levy-Aksu from Bogazici Univiersity, Dr Naif Bezwan from Artuklu University and Dr Ertan Ersoy were also invited to talk about their experience following their dismissal from their roles as part of the government’s purge. They all stressed the intensified attacks on the oppositional forces in Turkey, the significance of raising international awareness and the positive impact this has on local democratic campaigns in Turkey.

We are grateful for the valuable support shown by members of the public and sister organisations / groups who made this event possible. The event not only provided an opportunity to continue raising awareness of the human rights violations in Turkey, but raised £1,719.11.

The funds raised will be given to NEU / NUT to be passed over to Egtim-Sen trade union in Turkey with the intention of supporting academics and teachers who have lost their jobs following the attacks by the government.

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We stand with the Alevi communities in Turkey

We stand with the Alevi communities in Turkey

Last week members of the Alevi community in Turkey’s Malatya province voiced concerns after, at least, 13 houses were marked with red cross by “unknown” individuals. Red crosses marked with red paint were spotted on the outside walls and doors of several households belonging to Alevi people in the Cemal Gürsel neighbourhood of Malatya.

This is not the first time Alevi homes have been targeted in this way. Red crosses marked with red paint is a resemblance of some of the recent history of attacks on the Alevi communities in Turkey. It is believed that, hundreds of Alevis were killed in pogroms, which many now believe were masterminded by groups inside the state, in the cities of Çorum, Yozgat and Kahramanmaraş in the 1970s. Thirty-four Alevi intellectuals were burned to death in 1992 inside the Madımak Hotel in Sivas. In other incidents, such as in İstanbul’s predominantly Alevi neighbourhood, Gazi in 1995, Alevis were targeted by individuals armed with machine guns. The red cross marks have been used to initiate all the above massacres on Alevi communities. Such developments raise fear and create anxiety for the Alevi communities.

There are conflicting reports on how the residents became aware of the red cross marks. According to one report, residents found out about the red cross marks themselves after waking up in the morning. However, other reports suggest that the residents did not know anything about the marking until the police visited some of the houses early in the morning. One resident expressed his shock by saying “It is interesting that we hear about this from the police, even though it was our home that was marked. We believe it was the police who did the marking. The perpetrators must be brought to light at once, otherwise we will continue to blame the police for the incident.”

As SPOT we condemn the attack on Alevi communities and the lack of concern shown by state officials. It is worrying that “unknown” individuals have freely carried a hate crime and the government has shown very little interest in brining those responsible to justice.  We stand with the Alevi community and will fight against hate preachers in Turkey and Britain.

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