PRESS RELEASE: The EU must act firmly to support the “çapulcu”

To all Turkish men and women currently protesting in favour of pluralism, democracy and respect of human rights: the European Federalist Party (EFP) wants to express its solidarity with your struggle.

We European citizens and members of the EFP are convinced that today, the European ideals are embodied by the defence of the trees of Gezi Park in Istanbul in much the same way that they shone almost 25 years ago with the fall of the Berlin Wall in a peaceful and non-violent way.

Because of their desire to affirm principles of democracy, freedom, human rights protection and the rule of law in Turkey, thousands of protestors have been derogatorily called “çapulcu” (looters); if that is indeed the case, then we are all “çapulcu” and happily so.

To the Council of the European Union and to the European Parliament: we European citizens and members of the EFP ask our elected officials to abandon the present self-defeating diplomatic wait-and-see attitude and to take a stronger stance in support of the thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Turkey.

In the name of European values and of the European peoples, we urge the European Union to immediately downgrade the institutional and financial cooperation between the EU and the Republic of Turkey. This should last until the Turkish Government has taken the necessary measures to restore a climate of trust and serenity among its citizens (including, among others, by stopping the disproportionate use of force on the part of the police, and by launching investigations to determine if criminal offences have been perpetrated against the peaceful demonstrators).

The European Union today has the opportunity to rekindle European ambition and sense of pride by demonstrating to ordinary citizens – in Turkey and outside – that Europe is present and firm next to those who fight for democracy – this chance must not be missed!

We trust in Europe, we trust in democracy.

The “çapulcu” at the EFP.


Media information: The two co-presidents of the European Federalist Party can be contacted at:

Pietro de Matteis:

Yves Gernigon:

The European Federalist Party (EFP) is the pan-European party for a more democratic, united and solidary Europe: a Europe of the people and for the people. The EFP was founded in 2011 in Paris by citizens from all over Europe and has since developed into a cross-border movement with thousands of members, supporters and chapters in 18 EU states. The EFP was instrumental in the introduction of several key laws and reforms in the EU, including improvements to the Lisbon treaty, the European Citizens’ Initiative and the EU roaming regulation.

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