“WHAT IS GOING ON IN TURKEY?

by Serhat N., a CS friend

“First of all, I am sorry if I caused any inconvenience when sharing news constantly on the social media since last week. This was to increase awareness of the protests taking place in Turkey. Rightly, many of you ask “What is going on in Turkey?” You all know that Turkey is a democratic, beautiful and a favourite holiday country. The current government was elected democratically by more than 50% vote, and despite the turmoil around the world, Turkey’s economy is growing strong each year.
BUT WHAT IS GOING ON?

Who are these protestors?

It all started with a peaceful protest of the government’s plan to demolish the GEZI PARKI in Taksim on Tuesday, the 28th MAY 2013. This park is one of the very few parks left in the city. The government announced that they will build a shopping mall in this location.
Police used violence on these innocent people. Police burnt down their tents. Police used spray on people to disperse them. You probably have seen this image by now:

Then the people started to gather in the park to support the initial protesters. These are ordinary citizens which are not affiliated with any political party. Most of them have not even protested anything in their lives.
Police used tear gas and water cannons etc on the protestors as you most probably saw by now. It started as a protest of “Do not cut our trees” into a more “let us speak and stop suppressing us”. It spread to all corners of the country to ask the government stop authoritarian rule and instead listen to the citizens.

What are they protesting?

Citizens are fed up with authoritarian rule. Here are a few lines* what they are protesting:

1. Proposals to amend the constitution and change the Republic to a Semi-Presidential System. This change could let the current PM Erdogan to rule the country for another 10 years. However in its current legislature, the PM is not able to run for the next elections in 2014.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390443931404577550873062176042.html

2. Restriction on alcohol use. The proposal was to fully ban the use of alcohol in Turkey but with public pressure was passed as “restrictions”. Currently, sale of alcohol is banned between 10 pm and 7 am.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/31/turkey-alcohol-laws-istanbul-nightlife

3. Ataturk was the founder of the modern Turkish Republic. His right wing was Ismet Inonu. The current PM referred to them as “2 drunkards”. For most of the Turks, Ataturk is a very important figure.

4. Subway authorities making announcements regarding “moral rules”.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/25/turkey-kissing-protest-subway_n_3337004.html

5. The PM decided how many kids each family should have. The magic number is three.
http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/146227/turkish-pm-erdoan-reiterates-his-call-for-three-children.html

6. Interfering with the freedom of Turkish Press. Turkey has more journalists in jail than Iran does.
http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html

7. Imprisonment of the Turkish professors with the “Ergenekon” operation. The government has accused many with conspiracy against government yet failed to provide specific evidences.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/22/world/europe/22turkey.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

8. Building shopping malls and mosques in historical public spaces, changing the landscape without asking the public. The monument they want to erect in Gezi Park has a religious significance.
http://www.kansascity.com/2013/06/01/4268110/turkey-protests-over-plan-to-build.html

9. Being insensitive to Alevi citizen. (Alevi is a sect of Islam) The construction of a 3rd bridge crossing over the Bosphorus will commence soon. The government announced that the name will be YAVUZ SULTAN SELIM. This Ottoman sultan massacred millions of Alevis in the 16th century.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-30/turkey-s-alevis-outraged-by-executioner-name-for-bridge.html

10. Despising to dominate the regional politics yet failing to protect its own citizens. Reyhanli attacks were significantly impactful yet got little attention from our government and media.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/may/12/turkey-blames-syria-reyhanli-bombings

Why did people become so angry to a democratically elected government?

The Prime Minister controls all the media. None of the national TV channels broadcasted the country wide protests. People were informed with Twitter, Facebook etc. There were only 2 channels (locally in Istanbul) broadcasting. These were HALK TV and ULUSAL TV. I applaud their non-stop live broadcast.
The Prime Minister thinks that he only represents 50% of the country. He does not listen to “others” that do not vote for him.

When will it stop?
Nobody knows yet.”

Her Name Is Basak..!

„My name is Basak, I am 21 years old. Who brought me in this situation? A couple of bastards!!! One step further and I’d be dead. We are no provacateurs who destroy the windows of shops with batons and burn the city and hunt the crowd from place to place.

A few days I participated the demonstrations in Izmir. Yes, I joined the people I share my views with. It was a peaceful celebration. We all gathered and everything was non-violent.

After police came the peaceful gathering was over – why? Why did they attack innocent people as if they were provokating? I’m writing this with one hand on my keyboard. I don’t care about how much pain I feel. For days people are suffering, breathing poison, get beaten up. So many fatally injured persons.

Also when the media trys to cover it, people even got killed. I had only one intention to go Gündogdu square yesterday. Everyone was gathered no matter where from, which party, which football club. We just wanted to help them. We met with a few people and till 12 o’clock everything we did was sitting on a meadow. It became cold and we made a small fire to warm ourselves.

What happened then was like hell. Policemen began to spray tear gas and we couldn’t see anymore. We could barely breathe. Everyone was running in different directions. But I stayed at square and hided behind a statue. I’m neither a provocateur nor a terrorist. I just waited for the police to stop spraying tear gas. Aftwards I wanted to go home with my friends but a hard punch on my head made me fall on the ground.

They started to punch and kick me everywhere. When I looked up I noticed 7 men around me. I cannot remember exactly what they were saying. I passed out. With a hard punch on my head I came back to consciuosness and there were already about 10 policemen. They beated me and I lost consciousness again. In a situation where I was defenceless? I begged for mercy. I asked them to stop and let me go. A policeman said: „Either you feign death or you run away screaming with let us getting you.“ I ran away.

A woman took me and some friends in her appartement. I came back to my senses. It was 3 o’clock already. I was in a hospital. My left hand was broken. My right foot was almost broken. I have at least 25 bruises on my body. As you can imagine, all my body is full of them. I have witnesses who saw that I have been punched a lot of times by policemen but also civilians. I just hope for justice. I thank you for being with me. Don’t give up. For me, for my country, for my people!“

Görsel

Erdoğan: End the Crackdown Now!

Taken from:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Erdogan_End_the_crackdown_now/?fFwACab&pv=65

Why this is important

I am writing this from Taksim Square in Istanbul where peaceful protesters are being attacked with gas cannisters and pressurized water cannons. Hundreds of us are still here despite the police violence, protesting the destruction of Gezi park which the government wants to turn into a shopping mall.

This started simply as a peaceful sit-in to save a park, but it’s become one of the worst state attacks on protesters in recent memory — and a frightening example of the Turkish government’s growing eagerness to crack down on its own citizens. The security forces have been individually targeting protesters to terrify, wound and kill us. 12 people have already suffered trauma injuries from gas canisters — one man died of heart attack, and hundreds are suffering from excessive gas inhalation.Now more than ever, we need massive public pressure to urge the government to stop using excessive force against protesters immediately, to stop demolishing one of the few green spaces left in Istanbul, and to stop cracking down on citizens who are peacefully assembling or expressing their opinions. Sign the urgent petition now then share this widely. Only a giant outcry will pressure Erdogan to act immediately.Sign the petition please!

A Satiric Video from Taiwan

A great and hilarious satiric video from Taiwan showing also more background information about #occupygezi protests in #turkey

Livestream – ANKARA

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/direndiren

 

Slogans of resistance:

 

-Chapulars are here, where is Tayyip?

-We’re not right, we’re not left.. We’re just chapulars!

-We have no guns, we have no weapon! We just want our freedom!

-You get it Tayyip, you get it Tayyip!

Erdogan: “When I Return The Problems Will Be Solved”

Tomorrow Premier Minister Erdoğan will return from his North African visit. People are tensed and anxious about his next move. Is he going to resign and listen to the nation. Or is he going to keep on with the violence against the masses?
The expectation of the masses are cloven. The atmosphere tensed. As Erdogan admited he would have 1 Million people by his side which he could mobilize immediatly his opponents now try to call up just as much people.
New protests are expected on his return for both opponents are going to come vis-a-vis. Erdogans man who react violently and provocative are not going to let the people demonstrate peacefully against his coming back.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/When-Erdogan-returns-315567

 

 

 

Just In – Pulse In ANKARA

Görsel

 

During the battle at Kurtuluş/Ankara, police has been pushed back until Kolej junction. The barricades set between Kurtuluş and Kolej were on fire and the clashes at Tunalı Hilmi continue.

Fifteen hundred people are keeping their protest in Kennedy Avenue.

The protesters called TOMA’s and scorpions (an armored police vehicle with multiple capacity for firing teargas) over in front of US Embassy. The Police was previously filmed calling a protester over saying they will not do anything to him, only to shoot him with a gas bomb kernel once he stepped out of building he was taking refuge in.

Those who came to Kolej Square were once more attacked by 2 TOMAs and 2 armored police vehicles. The clashes continued until Kurtulus, and ended at that point.

Later the attack on crowds has begun at Kennedy Avenue with 2 TOMAs and 2 armored police vehicles. For a while, the group withdrew after the attacks involving gas bombs and pressurized water. The TOMA put out the fire on barricades but the crowds didn’t disperse. The police has been responded with stones and fireworks.