We are a democracy in a part of the world that sorely needs democratic voices and practices.
We have been a strategic ally to the United States ever since the Cold War. However in recent events, our own media has been shamefully silent. Our prime minister has mocked and trivialized our concerns.
But we will not be silenced – not this time. We are young, old, men, women, children, students, teachers, workers, mothers and fathers. We are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, atheist, gay, black, white, American, Turkish. We are liberals, conservatives and every ideology in between. But first and foremost, we are Turks, concerned about our country’s future. We demand an end to the police brutality. We demand an end to autocracy, fascism and authoritarian government. We demand an open dialogue so that we can uphold the democratic and secular values upon which our great nation was founded in 1923.
We are reaching out to you about the current situation in Turkey to share with you our efforts and ask for your help in voicing the concerns of the Turkish American community. We are continuing to closely monitor events, which are developing rapidly and now reach beyond the initial issue of Gezi Park.
Our thanks to those who have shared their thoughts and who are trying to show support for democracy in Turkey in various ways, from email campaigns to peaceful marches.
These are difficult times, and we are all trying to find effective ways to bring strength to our friends and our democracy in Turkey.
Sinan Zafer Oztimurlenk