29.06.2004 – Press Release on Iraq Occupation – Istanbul

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As all opinion polls showed at the time, the overwhelming majority of the population of Turkey was opposed to the attack on Iraq by the USA and its allies on the basis of excuses which were clearly lies then and have been proved to be lies now. On 1 March last year, the Turkish Parliament voted against the positioning of American troops on Turkish soil in order to attack Iraq. The vote was a result of the strength and popularity of the anti-war campaign which gave powerful voice to public opinion. Since the attack on Iraq, the overwhelming majority of the population of Turkey has been opposed to the occupation of Iraq and has looked upon the resistence with sympathy and support.

Similarly, the overwhelming majority of the population of Istanbul has opposed the NATO Summit Meeting designed to gain support for the American forces which have run into the ground in Iraq. A demonstration of more than 50,000 people was held against the NATO meeting, in difficult conditions and in spite of all efforts to prevent the demonstration from taking place.

If, in spite of all this, something happens to the three Turkish lorry drivers taken hostage in Iraq, the culprits will be Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his government, who have been trying to benefit from the unjust and illegal occupation of Iraq, and Turkish capital and companies who are hoping to make a profit out of the occupation.

Resistence is the legitimate right of a peoples under occupation. The people of Iraq consider as an enemy everyone, whether Iraqi or foreign, who supports the false “solution” which America is attempting to impose upon their country and who attempt to benefit from the occupation. Turkish troops and Turkish capital have no place, and should have no place, in Iraq.

Global Peace and Justice Coalition of Turkey

29 June 2004

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