Projects owned by: Civil and Political Initiatives
The story of the Families of Workers Who Search for Justice goes back to an explosion that occurred in an illegal roman candle workshop in Davutpaşa on October 31, 2008. Following the event, the families who have lost their relatives in Davutpaşa initiated a struggle to bring to justice and punish those who are responsible for this occupational murder that [...]
bak.ma stemmed from the idea of an online open archive that was proposed by the Videoccupy video collective founded during the Gezi resistance by people, who have different experiences and backgrounds. It was suggested to solve the problem of how to share the visuals they collected and produced during the resistance. Even though the Videoccupy was disbanded after the resistance, [...]
On March 21, 2013, Abdullah Öcalan’s letter calling for peace was read out during the Newroz celebrations in Diyarbakır. Later on, PKK declared a ceasefire on March 23, 2013, and announced that it would withdraw from Turkey’s borders on May 8, 2013. This was the beginning of the process which was started to end the armed conflict that has been [...]
The protests that were held against the government’s uprooting of trees and construction activities at the Gezi Park to build the Topçu Military Barracks during the summer of 2013 spread to other cities. The protests were ended with a heavy-handed police crackdown and were transformed into neighborhood forums, solidarity organizations and urban resistance movements in time. The idea for Hafıza [...]
Over the last 50 years, serious regime changes have occurred in Turkey, including military interventions and counter-insurgency measures, that have been accompanied by gross human rights violations. Two historical periods are crucial in this regard: first, the 1980 military coup; second, the Turkish state’s response to Kurdish political mobilization in the 1990s. After the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) seized political [...]
After the establishment of the Turkish Republic in 1923, the Republican People’s Party (RPP) consolidated a one-party rule in Turkey and did not tolerate the existence of any opposition political parties, groups, or persons until the post-WWII period. The RPP relied on Kemalism, the ideological cement of the Turkish nation-state since its founding. Kemalism relied on radical secularism, ethnically-based Turkish [...]
The population of Armenians, one of the largest Christian communities in the Ottoman Empire, was approximately 1.5 million before the genocide in 1915. After the massacres and deportations of the genocide, it fell to less than 100,000. The Turkish Republic, established in 1923, never acknowledged that Armenians were decimated in 1915. More importantly, the Turkish nation-state instituted exclusionist policies towards [...]
Before the Armenian genocide took place in 1915, Armenians had inhabited Anatolia since ancient times. The Turkish Republic, established after the Armenian genocide in 1923, has never acknowledged the 1915 massacres of Armenians. In official state discourse, the period in which the genocide occurred was an exceptional time, during which Armenians allied with enemy forces and constituted a security threat [...]
Although the Turkish nation-state was established according to secular principles on a constitutional basis, ethno-religious groups like the Alevis in Turkey have nevertheless been subjected to systematic discrimination and massacres because of their identity. Beginning with the Ottoman Empire, only Sunni interpretations of Islam were considered authentic; Sunni Islam remained the official religion of the state, while others were rejected [...]
An armed conflict between the Turkish state and the Workers’ Party of Kurdistan (PKK) emerged in the mid-1980s and peaked in the 1990s as a result of the decades-old denial, assimilation and repression policies targeting the Kurds. Although the full truth of the devastation caused by the civil war is still not known, approximately 50,000 people lost their lives and [...]
Reports by human rights organizations have shown that the severity of rights violations greatly increased in Turkey in the 1990s. This radical escalation occurred in almost all categories, including the right to life, freedom from torture, the right to a fair trial, freedom of speech, and freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Although the majority of these violations arose in [...]
The Kurds in Turkey, who have constituted 15-20 percent of the whole population, have been subjected to denial, repression and assimilation policies since the establishment of the Turkish nation-state. Although the Kurdish movement actors started to make demands for the collective rights of the Kurds beginning from the late 1950s, the Turkish state showed no tolerance such peaceful demands for [...]
Demographically, Dersim is a region overwhelmingly populated by Kurdish Alevis (a minority religious group). Due to this ethnic makeup, the people of Dersim have traditionally been perceived as “the other” by central governments with Islamic or nationalist leanings. The Ottoman Empire’s attempts to eradicate the autonomy of the Dersim region through centralization escalated during the Abdulhamid II period (1876-1908). Following [...]
Industrialization and urbanization processes gained considerable momentum in Turkey during the 1960s and 1970s. In parallel to these developments, this period witnessed the emergence of an urban working class, as along with a leftist movement that mobilized university students, intellectuals and workers. The first wave of movement activities peaked at the end of the 1960s. In 1971, the Turkish military [...]
Following the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) gradually began to dominate Ottoman politics, gaining full power by 1913. Pursuing Turkification policies was one of the main paths followed by the CUP, accompanied by a move toward absolute centralism to prevent further collapse of the empire. Toward this end, ethnic and religious homogenization of [...]
With the beginning of the Second Constitutional Era in the Ottoman Empire (1908), the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) began to employ Turkification policies that specifically targeted all non-Turkish communities living under Ottoman rule. When the empire lost its territories in the Balkan region in the course of the Balkans Wars (1912-13), these policies became more radical, culminating in [...]
From the second half of the 1960s to 1980, the leftist movement in Turkey was able to achieve substantial political mobilization among the working class, youth and women. This era was interrupted by the 1971 coup d’etat and ended with the 1980 military coup that bloodily suppressed the leftist movement, abolished the parliament, declared martial law and enforced a military-led [...]