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Turkish antimilitarists protest IDEF 2015 arms fair

Turkish antimilitarists protest the IDEF arms fairTurkish antimilitarists protest the IDEF arms fairOn Friday 8th May, ten protesters met in front of the IDEF 2015 Defense Industry Fair in Istanbul, Turkey. The protesters, who came together with the call from the Conscientious Objection Association were met with a heavy police presence including 15 civilian police, tens of riot police and one water cannon truck.

Despite attempts by the police to prevent the protest, the protesters read their statement in front of the building. “President Erdogan opened the fair by saying 'I hope this fair will bring fortune to the peoples of the world'. But the weapons that are present here will bring only death to the people all around the world” told Merve Arkun, the co-president of Conscientious Objection Association. Arkun criticized the increase of defense budgets worldwide, reaching to 1.6 trillion Euro per year. “The taxes taken from the poor peoples are spent for developing weapons of mass destruction. We're calling the states to stop their arms race” she told. Arkun ended her speech by referring to the latest developments in the defense industry like self guiding bullets and autonomous UAV's and telling “Don't forget that these weapons are killing people all over the world every day. You can never know when you'll be the next target. Militarism kills”.

The full statement (in Turkish) is available in the video below: