"The finger of the counter-guerrillas was in the May 1 incidents."
~ Bülent Ecevit
~ Bülent Ecevit
May Day 2008 in Istanbul:
Why are May Day celebrations the only celebrations that are forbidden in Taksim Square? Because of the Taksim Square Massacre--perpetrated by the state, naturally. From WSWS:
The Revolutionary Confederation of Labor Unions (DISK) organized a May Day demonstration in Taksim Square in Istanbul. Demonstrators filled the square, and the crowds flowed into the surrounding area. In Besiktas, hundreds of thousands of people had gathered in the early morning hours to march to the rally. By the time DISK General Chairman Kemal Turkler delivered his his May Day speech, all the roads leading into the area were still full of people marching. It was nearly 7 p.m. before the last contingents were able to reach the Taksim area.
The DISK general chairman was about to finish his speech when three gunshots sounded. First there was stillness, and then a deadly pandemonium broke out. The crowd of 500,000 dispersed in panic.
People who had been lying in ambush inside buildings in the vicinity of the meeting area, in the Intercontinental Hotel (now The Marmara Istanbul) and in the Water Authority building, rained bullets down on the crowd with automatic weapons. As the firing spread, armored personnel carriers went into action. Noise bombs and the firing of the automatic weapons suddenly turned the meeting area into a battlefield. Thousands of people lay down where they were, while others running to escape were shoved into corners and crushed by the armored vehicles.
[ . . . ]
While some characterized the incident as a provocation of the Nationalist Front [the right-wing government coalition] carried out under the management of the CIA, a portion of the police and bourgeois press advanced the idea that the firing was started by extreme leftists.
However, evidence presented in court opened the curtain of reality, even if only a crack. Police charged 98 people arrested at random with responsibility for the massacre. None of them were involved, and all were acquitted. While the judge called upon the authorities to renew the investigation and prosecute those genuinely responsible, successive military-dominated regimes suppressed the case.
During the trial, Oleyis [the hotel workers union] Branch Chairman Ali Kocaman had the information which he had received from hotel personnel placed in the minutes: “Three days earlier, the third, fourth and fifth floors of the Intercontinental Hotel were emptied and no one was allowed on the floors, which were under police control. Americans had come and stayed on the floors which the personnel were not allowed to enter. After the incident, these people checked out of the hotel.”
[ . . . ]
On May 7, 1977, Bulent Ecevit, later to become prime minister, attracted little attention with his statement at an Izmir meeting, “The finger of the counter-guerrillas was in the May 1 incidents.”
According to Article 102 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), the case expired due to the statute of limitations after 20 years had elapsed. And according to lawyer Rasim Oz, who witnessed the bloody May Day of 1977, “The case was deliberately brought to a point where it would be closed due to the statute of limitations.”
At least the state, including the Islamist AKP government, is consistent.