The first of September, the date when Germany invaded Poland and launched the Second World War, is declared and celebrated as “World Peace Day” in many countries including Turkey.
The 1 September meeting organised by the Istanbul Labour, Peace and Democracy Forces in Bakırköy Square for the weekend day of 5 September has been banned by the Istanbul Governor’s Office. The governor’s office gave a bizarre reasoning saying that World Peace Day events should be only celebrated on 1 September.
Reacting to the ban, the Istanbul 1 September Meeting Organising Committee said in a written statement that preparations were underway and that they would be in Bakırköy Square on 5 September. The Committee stated that “We do not recognise the informal attitude, arbitrariness, and unlawful decisions of the government and local government representatives”.
Another ban was imposed on a meeting to be held in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The reason for this ban was again absurd and arbitrary. The Ankara Governor’s Office did not accept the meeting time decided by the Ankara Labour and Democracy Forces for the 1 September World Peace Day event at Anıtpark at 17.00pm.
Instead, the governor’s office wanted the rally to be held earlier during working hours at 15:00pm. Ankara Labour and Democracy Forces decided to meet in the square outside Ankara’s train station, stating that the rally was being intentionally blocked by the governor’s office by trying to force the meeting to be held during working hours and at the hottest time of the day.
Ankara Labour and Democracy Forces called everyone to the square outside Ankara train station at 18.30pm with the slogan “Peace against war, equality against racism”.
The meeting at Diyarbakir (Amed) was also banned. Labor and Democracy Forces Diyarbakir Platform held a press conference about the cancellation of the rally in the city on Saturday 4 September.
Mehmet Ceylan, a member of the Organising Committee, said: “We invite all the people of Amed to the mass press conference to be held in front of ACZ plaza on 4 September at 16.00pm
The Adiyaman (Semsur) Branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD) held a “Peace Watch” in the branch building for World Peace Day on 1 September under the banner “Light a candle for peace”.
The Peace Rally in the eastern province of Van (Wan) started with a well attended march where thousands of people attended with the slogan “Peace against isolation”.
People protesting against the isolation of Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan who has been kept in solitary confinement since 1999, marched with banners saying “Stop solitary confinement for social peace”, “Peace against war” and “Make peace”, “Be a voice for the prisons”, “Give voice to hunger strikes”.