Inspired by summer protests, 'Gezi Party' established

Inspired by summer protests, 'Gezi Party' established

The party uses “GZP” as its acronym and a figure of human shaped as a tree trunk holding a green circle as its logo. (Photo: Today's Zaman)

October 23, 2013, Wednesday/ 14:58:00

Rumors circulating on social media that a “Gezi” political party would be formed have been proven true as the party's establishment has been announced on the Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor's Office website.

Turkish media said on Wednesday that according to the information on the website, the “Gezi Party” (GZP) was established on Oct. 1, 2013, and registered on Oct. 9, 2013, with headquarters located in the Çankaya district of Ankara.

The party uses “GZP” as its acronym and a figure of human shaped as a tree trunk holding a green circle as its logo. The number of party members is as of yet unknown.

The party's main purpose according to its bylaws is:

“To prepare a public constitutional law in line with a free democratic understanding backed by the civilian community; to provide necessary conditions under which individuals can freely determine how to live their lives as well as their future; to establish a public order that bases its regulations on legal grounds and defends individuals' rights accordingly.”

According to the party bylaws the leader of the party -- who is currently Reşit Cem Köksal -- can remain in that position for three years. The same leader can be a candidate for leadership in the next elections.

The party takes its name from an İstanbul park where a protest by environmentalists sparked nationwide demonstrations this summer.

The protests, which started after a number of trees were cut down as part of İstanbul's Taksim Pedestrianization Project, quickly spread across Turkey, in particular İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir.

The demonstrations began as a sit-in by activists in the park next to İstanbul's Taksim Square, and evolved into anti-government demonstrations. They quickly drew global attention and scrutiny, and several heads of state made official statements regarding them. The world press, too, closely followed the developments.

The establishment of the Gezi Party was hailed by some of those who supported the Gezi Park protests, but others have expressed discontent about the forming of another left-wing party as it might lead to vote-splitting on the left. The Republican People's Party (CHP), which backed the Gezi Park protests, seeing them as a means to garner votes since the protests drew more and more supporters each passing day, is now in jeopardy of losing some of its votes to the newly established party.

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