Anti-NATO summit in Istanbul

IssueSeptember - November 2004

An “anti-NATO” summit took place in Istanbul between 19 and 27 June as a response to the NATO summit being held in the city.

The alternative summit ended with a large demonstration, which around 40,000 people are reported to have attended. The main organisers of the summit were the Turkish trade unions KESK and DISK, and groups such as Global Peace and Justice Coalition, Unity against Bush and NATO, and the Chambers of Engineers and Doctors of Istanbul.

Seminars on Media and War and “Who is NATO for and against” took place. Discussions focused on the warmongering policies promoted by NATO and the US. The US were criticised for using NATO to enter into military conflicts which will satisfy their hegemonic aims and, more specifically, will enable them to get hold of the oil in the Middle East.

The large demonstrations at the alternative summit were complemented by a substantial number of smaller protests, banner-drops, agit-prop, and events that included public statements by total objectors from anti militarist groups.

Turkish authorities attempted to ban much of the proposed anti-NATO protest and, during the weeks before and after the NATO meeting, there were a handful of pitched battles between police and leftist and anarchist groups (pictured).

Topics: Anti-war action