Letter from concerned Georgetown Turkish students

Dear Georgetown Community,
We would like to call your attention to the recent protests in Turkey, because we believe that the government is inflicting great injustice upon its own people through political channels, the police force and the media. We really need your help; you can make all the difference.
A peaceful sit-in in Istanbul’s Taksim Square in protest of the attempted demolition of a beautiful public park to be replaced by a commercial shopping mall faced violent police crackdown on May 31st. The protests have spread across Turkey in an escalating fashion, fueled by police violence, and the ruling AKP’s polarizing rhetoric, led by our prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Innocent protestors are suffering as a result of excessive and targeted use of tear gas bombs, rubber bullets, and water bombs by the Turkish Police. The democratic right to peaceful protest has been destroyed by our government, blinded by a mentality that justifies the oppression of Turkish citizens with differing views, and the abuse of human rights in general. The issue is of universal relevance as it threatens our basic rights and democratic principles. The AKP government is utilizing the police force to limit the protestors’ freedom of expression through the use of excessive and disproportionate force.
The national Turkish media has been silent as a result of the crippling censorship tactics executed by the government. None of the major media outlets has broadcasted the protests over the first three days of police brutality. Social media, which is not used by the majority of the older population, has been the only source of unfiltered information. Prime Minster Erdogan, declared that social media is a pain on all nation’s back’s, revealing his authoritarian views regarding freedom of the press. Given that the Turkish people are left in the dark with very little recourse, we must call on the rest of the world to pay attention to our plight and stand in solidarity with us, with all those fighting for democracy.
Governments all across the world, international media, we need your support. With international encouragement, the Turkish government will be forced to finally listen and respond to the peaceful, rightful voice of its own people. It is our hope that those responsible for allowing this massive violence against innocents to perpetuate, such as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, resign their posts. And we need international support to get our voices heard.
What you can do:
We are counting on the intellectual prowess and human sensitivity of the amazing Georgetown community. Please stand with us. Please speak up with us.
With wishes that peace, freedom and kindness prevail everywhere, always,
Concerned Georgetown Turkish Students
Ecem Acar MSB’ 12
Elif Akyıldız MSB’ 12
Ceren Ateş SFS’ 14
Alp Bebasa MSB’ 11
Joel Bebasa COL’ 16
Ceyda Bıçakçı COL’ 13
Merjan Bubernack MSB’ 15
Irem Cesur MSB’ 15
Ceyda Erten SFS’ 13
Çiğdem Eskiocak MSB’ 12
Berk Guler COL’ 14
Kaan İnan SFS’ 14
Nazlı Kırali MSB’ 11
Hilal Özgündüz COL’ 16
Pınar Sarıtaş MSB’ 13
Erol Sayman MSB’ 13
Riana Meral Terney SFS’ 13
Cem Yolbulan SFS’ 13