In a powerful display of solidarity, a multitude of individuals congregated at Fatih Saraçhane Park in Istanbul to condemn racism and discriminatory practices.
Özgür-Der, along with various NGOs including MAZLUMDER, Köklü Değişim, HÜDA PAR and IHH, organized a demonstration under the banner of "Let's Raise Brotherhood Against Racism".
The event, which was attended by a large number of people, was held to address the pressing issue of racism in Türkiye, especially anti-Arab sentiments.
The event began with a recitation of the Holy Quran, which set the tone for the day. Özgür-Der President Rıdvan Kaya delivered a press statement on behalf of the assembled group, emphasizing the importance of combating racism, which "pollutes our air, water and souls" and "darkens our future."
He described racism as a "mental illness" rooted in ignorance and jahiliyyah, stressing that it has plagued the country for a century.
Kaya pointed out that the recent rise in anti-Arab sentiment in Turkey is driven by hostility toward Islam and the Ummah. He criticized those who are disturbed by Arabic signs and the presence of Arabic speakers, drawing parallels with historical instances of discrimination against the Arabic language and Islamic practices in the country.
He stated: "We have no doubt that those who are targeting Muhajirs today and trying to expel them under various pretexts will force us to leave this country and expel us tomorrow if they have the opportunity."
İsa Güvendik, Istanbul Provincial Chairman of HÜDA PAR, emphasized the long history of peaceful coexistence of different communities in Turkey. He echoed the sentiment that a minority of racists could not break the bonds of brotherhood among the nation's citizens. "No one will be able to prevent our brotherhood," he declared.
Prof. Dr. Ahmet Ağırakça criticized the recent actions against refugees, especially in metropolitan areas, which he characterized as a "witch hunt". He expressed concern about the destruction of Arabic signs in Istanbul and questioned the motives behind such actions.
Kaya Kartal, President of MAZLUMDER, described the issue as a form of Islamophobia that goes beyond traditional racism. He emphasized that a small but vocal minority is exploiting societal challenges to sow discord, and stressed the need for unity among the broader population.
At the end of the event, participants pledged to continue their efforts to raise awareness against racism and discrimination and to foster a sense of unity and brotherhood that transcends all divides. (ILKHA)
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