Wednesday, 10 July 2013

51 Gezi Protesters on Hunger Strike

On Monday, when Gezi Park was reopened, only to be close soon afterwards, 60 people were taken into custody. 51 of these peoplen have now started a hunger strike. Meanwhile Amnesty International called for a release of the imprisoned peaceful protesters. Despite these attempts to protest against police violence and repression the wave of repression continues in multiple ways. Erhan Erkut, the president of the private Özyegin University has been set free, very likely because he supported his students participating in the protests. In addition to that the AKP quickly passed a law in the parliament that restricts the rights and the authority of the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB).The TMMOB has played a leading role in the opposition to the restructuring of Taksim Square, which would include the destruction of Gezi Park.

Fifth Protester Dies After Being in Coma for 20 Days

Today Ali Ismail Korkmaz, 19 year old student from Anadolu University in Eskisehir, has passed away in the hospital. He suffered a brain hemorrhage on June 2nd in the course of the protests, when he was hit in the head and beaten up while fleeing from the polices. It is yet unclear who his murderer was, but there are rumours that it was fascists supporting the police and attacking protesters.

After Medeni Yildirim, who died protesting against the construction of a military outpost in the predominantly Kurdish region of Diyarbakir, Abdullah Cömert, who was hit by a tear gas cartridge in Antakya, Mehmet Ayvalitas, who was hit by a car driving into a demonstration in Sarigazi, Istanbul and Ethem Sarisülük, who was shot by a policeman with a real bullet with his murderer being released, Ali Ismail Korkmaz is the fifth casualty who died during protests. Sanitary Irfan Tuna died in Ankara, very likley because of the enormous exposure to tear gas.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Gezi Park Reopened and Closed Again - Police Once Again Attacks Protesters

Today Gezi Park was reopened for the public (it had been closed ever since the police stormed the park and removed everyone on June 15th). Yet, some 3 hours after it was reopened, police once again began to remove the people from the park and attack with water cannons and tear gas. Governor Mutlu justified this by claiming that the park belongs to all the people, not just to some groups of people. First and foremost the park seems to belong to Mutlu and it is unclear if he expects all Istanbulians (a not precisely known figure of around 15 million) to flock to the park at the same time in order for it to be permanently reopened.

The main target of the operation was the Taksim Solidarity Platform. Many of its leading figures have been reportedly taken into custody alongside many other people. Firat News Agency lists the following people
Among those detained are leading figures of Taksim Solidarity Platform, TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects) member Mücella Yapıcı, Ongun Yücel, Secretary General of Istanbul Medical Board, Ali Çerkezoğlu, HDK (People's Democratic Congress) Executive Council member Ender İmrek, TKP (Communist Party of Turkey) executive board member Erkan Baş, Chamber of City Planners Istanbul Branch Secretary Akif Burak Atlar, TMMOB IKK Secretary Süleyman Solmaz, EMO (Chamber of Electrical Engineers) Istanbul Branch Chair Beyza Metin and Haluk Yüksel.

In total 80 people have been detained today. 

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Clashes in Taksim on Saturday

After the Taksim Solidarity Platform called for a press declaration and a demonstration at Taksim Square on Saturday, 6th June, hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Taksim from all parts of Istanbul. 
A few hours before the beginning of the demonstration, Governor Mutlu said that the demonstration was not authorized and would be stopped by a police intervention: 

"The Constitution says that anyone can stage a demonstration without giving notification, but the legislation says that applying to the authorities for permission is mandatory. So nobody can say they exercise their constitutional rights. This is unlawful. I can't allow a demonstration that I haven't permitted in advance, I can't act unlawfully. So we won't allow these gatherings. Our police will warn them. We believe that an significant number will leave the place after these warnings. There are always small groups that seek confrontation with the police", said Mutlu.

These statements of Mutlu mobilized even more people who have been called plunderers and extremists by the government before although they have only been trying to demand their democratic rights to demonstrate and express themselves. 

The demonstration was supposed to start at 7 p.m. but the police started to intervene already 30 minutes before 7. As usual, tear gas, water cannons (with chemically enhanced water) and baton rounds were used by the police. The access to the metro at Taksim has been interrupted for hours so that demonstrators were not able arrive at Taksim Square. 
After police's intervention, protestors dispersed into side streets of the Istiklal Avenue, waited a while, united again and clashed repeatedly with the police. The clashes lasted until the early-morning hours. Many protesters have been taken into custody. 
It is notable that during the intense clashes in Taksim, the greatest Turkish news channels NTV and CNNTürk were televising documentaries, while another channel, HaberTürk was televising an interview with the Director of Religious Affairs about a completely irrelevant subject.

Here is a video displaying unidentified people with machetes indiscriminately attacking protesters and bystanders running from the effects of tear gas emerged after yesterday's crackdown. One of the assailants is seen kicking a woman on her back while holding a machete on his hand:

Here some scenes from the clashes:






Sources:


Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Sivas Massacre: 20 Years After

Amidst the current turmoil in Turkey, from Gezi Park to Lice, today on July 2nd one of the darkest chapters of the history of the Turkish Republic is commemorated all over the country and abroad. On July 2nd 1993 37 people were burnt to death in a hotel in Sivas, an anatolian city with a long history. 37 people burnt to death - and it was no accident. It was an organized attack on an Alevi conference. The people that died were mostly Alevi intellectuals and 2 hotel staff. The main target of the attack, writer and satirist Aziz Nesin, was able to escape, but died soon afterwards - from grieve and from the pain these events caused, says his son.

We know who did this. A mob of nationalists and religious fanatics that was at least in part protected by the state institutions and forces. These people knew what they were doing and yet hardly any of the perpetrators were held accountable. Some of those who backed the attacks, some of those lawyers who defended the perpetrators, late became deputies in parliament for the AKP. The case of Sivas has been dropped by courts because of statue limitations. The AKP recently proclaimed to launch an "Alevi campaign" which is supposed to emphasize the brotherhood of sunnis and alevis. Yet, the AKP government protects the perpetrators of the Sivas massacre, yet the AKP names the 3rd bridge over the bosphorus after a sultan who stands for massacres against the Alevi minority. The AKP accuses its opponents of playing games, yet there is no one in Turkey today who plays games the way the AKP does. Towards every oppressed and discriminated people, ethnic or religious minority, it plays a game of creating hope and then destroying that very hope. The first Kurdish opening was followed by a massive military offensive against the guerilla and a legal offensive against Kurdish politicians. With its ruthless politics the AKP once again threatens the peace process that has been kept alive by the patience of the Kurdish movement.

In order to commemorate this massacre tens of thousands of people gathered in Sivas, mostly Alevis, Kurds, Leftists and Socialists. They are calling the state to finally take action against the perpetrators and to stop the ongoing discrimination of the Alevi people in Turkey. The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party, legal pro-Kurdish party) has condemned the government policies regarding the Sivas massacre and the Alevi minority in general. They called for an apology and for a different politics towards the Alevis (and also towards the Kurds - it has to be noted that there are Turkish and Kurdish and Zaza Alevis in Turkey)). Leading BDP members will participate in the marches today in Sivas.

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Video: Shooting of Medeni Yıldırım

A video of the shooting of Medeni Yildirim, the protester who died two days ago in Lice, has now been made public on the internet. The video shows a kurdish woman saying "We don't want any more (military) outposts being built. We want peace." Then one sees how the Gendarmerie, a variation of the military forces, fire and how the body of Medeni is being carried away.


source: http://t24.com.tr/haber/medeni-yildirimin-vurulma-ani-ortaya-cikti/233102

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Video From Besiktas - Resist Lice, Besiktas is With You!

This is a video from yesterday night - Besiktas expresses its solidarity with Lice:
http://vimeo.com/69359085

some of the slogans that were chanted are:
"Resist Lice, Besiktas is with you"
"yasasin halklarin kardesligi/biji biratiya gelan" (Long live International Solidarity - literally: long live the brotherhood of peoples in Turkish and Kurdish)

Turkish media was criticized as well, at the very beginning with a reference to the three monkey - "I didn't see anything, I didn't hear anything, I don't know anything" and later on with "we don't want a biased media"

This is a decisive change in Turkey (see our long article on yesterday's event), for a large portion of the people in Western cities now start to recognize that the Kurdish people are not their enemies, but the enemies of a repressive and racist state and they also recognize that the perceived the events in Kurdistan through the lenses of the very same media that now neglects and distorts their own protest

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Historical Moment in the History of the Turkish Republic: Solidarity with the Kurdish People from Istanbul and Izmir

Not too long after PM Erdogan's discouraging remarks about the peace process and the subsequent call of the BDP (Peace and Democracy Party, legal pro-Kurdish party) to take the streets in Kurdish cities in order to protest the inactivity of the government in the peace process and to urge for further reforms, the situation has escalated. In Lice, a small city close to Amed (Diyarbakir), the largest city in the Kurdish regions of the Turkish Republic, the military has fired at protesters leaving one dead and several injured. The people in Lice were protesting that yet another military fortification was built in the predominantly Kurdish region of Turkey, despite the peace process. Already some days ago KCK president and leading guerilla commander Murat Karayilan had made a clear statement calling the ongoing construction of such fortifications in the region and the increasing activity of the Turkish military a damage to the peace process, ultimately threatening the process as such. As is described in the article on Erdogan's recent remarks in the peace process, only the Kurdish movement has taken steps in order to carry forward the process so far - namely, the guerilla started to retreat to Northern Iraq.

Following the events in Lice the Turkish Republic has witnessed a historical moment. One day, it might be remembered in history books as the day, when all anti-democratic, war-mongering forces in the Turkish Republic trembled with fear - for after dozens of years of Kurdish resistance and liberation movement, the Turkish people have at last solidarised themselves with the Kurdish people and opened up the way for a democratic alliance of the peoples, surmounting yet another one of the several divisions (Alevites vs. Sunnites, Besiktas vs. Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray, Religious vs. Secular, ...) seperating the oppressed masses and classes within the Turkish Republic from each other and mostly even pitching one against the other.

Until now, the struggle of the Kurdish Liberation Movement has been mostly isolated from the rest of Turkey and except for some organized left, revolutionary groups hardly anyone every solidarized with the Kurdish movement. But today, thousands in Istanbul and Izmir solidarized with the Kurdish people. Soon after news of the incident in Lice spread people organized spontaneous manifestions instead of the public forums that usually take place every evening. #direnlice became a widely used hashtag on social media. In two districts of Istanbul, Kadiköy and Besiktas, -  both until today known as supposedly being ultra-nationalist and chauvinist - thousands of people marched chanting slogans like "Resist Lice, Kadiköy is with you", "Shoulder to shoulder against Fascism", "The people of Lice are not alone", "We do not want war, we want peace" and even the Kurdish "Biji bıratiya gelan" ("Long live international solidarity!"). People living in the neighbourhoods actively supported the protestors from their balconies and windows. In Taksim, some people were even solidarizing themselves even with the slogan "You cannot liberate Turkey without also liberating Kurdistan".

It must be noted that up to now in everyday life it was unimaginable that anybody begins talking Kurdish publicly in the western parts of the Turkish Republic. But today, several people spoke entirely in Kurdish when talking on the forums after the manifestions - and they were positively accepted by the people attending the forums with a chorus of clapping and shouting while Turkish flags with Mustafa Kemal Atatürk depicted on them were swung! One Kurdish person who was living in Kadiköy for over a dozen years was close to bursting out in tears when he greeted the people attending the meeting in Kurdish and he expressed his joy over this very unexpected solidarity.

This Turkish Resistance/Democracy Movement is like a locomotive - nobody can stop it at the moment and it races ahead of any organized politcal organization and exceeds all expectations. It has broken with divisions and ideologies that were handed down for dozens of year. The collective struggle and commune-like life in Gezi park - a life entirely organized by the people themselves, without presence of state institutions or representatives - has forged a new spirit, a new people that is yet in the making. The people in Turkey, the oppressed and exploited masses and classes are awaking- they are on the verge of taking their destiny into their own hands, wondering why they didn't do so before and still wondering that they managed to wake up at all. At the time, the Turkish Resistance/Democracy Movement is - like an early bird - still questioning and interrogating itself and through this tries to handle with and move in this new situation which is the possibility of becoming a Subject. But it is clear that Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas' statement that the AKP from now on will ask the people in any matter before deciding on it, is in reality becoming a nightmare not only for the AKP but for all anti-democratic forces in the Turkish Republic. From now on the people of Turkey will no longer wait until they are told to do something - they will do it themselves, the way they collectively decide to do it. This Turkish Resistance/Democracy Movement invents its own unique language and its own unique forms of resistance (which, by the way, include a specific aesthetics and a veritable explosion of humour), moving forward when it is probably least expected.

Today is a decisive moment regarding the Kurdish Question - this day has broken the Ultra-Nationalist/Chauvinist hegemony and confuted the claim of Selahattin Demirtas, president of the legal kurdish party BDP, and even of Murat Karayilan that there are major ultra-nationalist/chauvinist forces within the Gezi Parki movement that might determine where the Movement is heading to, whereby this claim, until now, motivated the rather conservative and distanced stance of the Kurdish Liberation Movement towards the Turkish Resistance/Democracy Movement. The Turkish Resistance/Democracy Movement is at the moment ahead not only of the Revolutiony Turkish Organisations, but also of the Kurdish Liberation Movement. Now, the window of opportunity opens up for the construction of a democratic alliance of the peoples, an alliance between the Kurdish and the Turkish people and between all the other different peoples in Turkey. It is this alliance - and solely this alliance - that can bring peace and democracy and popular power to today's Turkish Republic.

Tomorrow, the other major cities in Turkey will witness a reaction to today's events and furthermore in Istanbul, several demonstrations will take place that will all end in Taksim, where a huge commemoration for Ethem Sarisülük, the protester who has been killed by a police gun with the policeman being released without charges, will take place. It is to be expected that this commemoration will be combined with a commemoration for the protester who died in Lice today.


further links&sources

http://www.firatnews.biz/news/guncel/taksim-de-lice-icin-durma-eylemi.htm
http://www.firatnews.biz/news/guncel/lice-de-1-olu-10-yarali.htm
http://www.firatnews.biz/news/guncel/kadikoy-ve-besiktas-ta-lice-protestosu.htm
http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/kadikoy-bugun-lice-icin-yurudu-haberi-75498

Witnesses in Ethem Sarisülük Case Arrested

After releasing the police officer identified as the one who shot Ethem Sarisülük after the court ruled the shooting an act of self-defense, the Turkish courts once again draw the attention on them for a peculiar decision. Two people that are considered witnesses in the very shooting are now under arrest.


http://www.bianet.org/english/human-rights/147980-witnesses-arrested-detained-in-ethem-sarisuluk-case

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The AKP and its Peculiar Understanding of the Peace Process

A few months ago a potentially historical phase regarding the Kurdish Question in Turkey was initiated. The PKK and its imprisoned leader Abdullah Öcalan agreed to withdraw the guerilla from Turkey to start a peace process. In return they expect the ruling AKP government to make serious advancements regarding minority rights and other democratic reforms, i.e. the 10% threshold for parliamentary election should be removed, the sole mention of Turks in the constitution should be altered to a plurality, right for the use and learning in a mother language should be introduced, the legal repression against oppositional movements, in particular the Kurdish movement, should be stopped and the like. The guerilla stuck to its plan and began to leave the country. However, the AKP government seemingly did not even take one step forward. None of the about 6000 imprisoned legal Kurdish politicians has been released and there isn't even a discussion about granting more rights to minorities or about removing the ridiculously high election threshold.

The BDP (Peace and Democracy Party, the main legal pro-Kurdish party), the KCK (Union of Kurdish Communities, the umbrella organization of all Kurdish groups, including the PKK) and Abdullah Öcalan all criticized the unwillingness of the government to contribute to the peace process. Despite that criticism they agreed on entering the second phase of the process. Now it is really on the government to make steps towards the Kurdish movement. However, on the contrary, Tayyip Erdogan made some very peculiar statements yesterday in relation to a meeting with the Wise People's Council that was established in order to supervise of the process. Apparently he thinks that instead of lowering the election threshold the Kurds or whoever should try harder to pass this threshold. He also claims that there is only one official language in Turkey, that is Turkish. Overall there are no plans for any reforms.

Erdogan seems to count on the patience and cooperative approach by the Kurdish movement, which seems to be very willing to carry on with the peace process. If, however, this process will go on much longer and if it will produce any meaningful results beyond a few superficial changes remains to be seen. Maybe the interpretation, claiming that Erdogan initiated the process because of the political and military defeat he suffered after the PKK controlled quite larges areas in the Southeast and because he considers it a strategy for the several upcoming elections (in particular the referendum over the change of the presidential system, that would enable him to become a president with a lot of power). 

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

New Custodies and Police Torture in Custody

Today another 6 protesters were taken into custody in Eskişehir, whereby two of them were released after interrogation.
According to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey altogether 3366 people have been taken into custody, 78 of which have been arrested until now.
Two members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP) have been tortured in custody. İmdat Ateş, the advocate of Süleyman Göksel Yerdut and Mehmet Polat, stated that Yerdut's arm was broken due to police violence while his fingerprints were being taken. Also Mehmet Polat was subjected to violence in order to give his fingerprints and his finger was dislocated.

http://www.firatnews.com/news/guncel/eskisehir-de-6-gozalti.htm
http://t24.com.tr/haber/turkiye-insan-haklari-vakfi-gezi-parki-tutuklu-sayisi-78/232848
http://www.firatnews.com/news/guncel/gozaltinda-esp-lilere-iskence.htm

Imam of the Dolmabahce Mosque: "I did not see alcohol being drunk in the mosque"


PM Erdogan has been agitating against the Gezi demonstrators mostly by employing arguments that should expose the protesters as antireligious zealots and infidels, i.e. he claimed that they went into the Dolmabahce Mosque, did not take off their shoes, drank alcohol and had group sex there. In fact the Imam had opened his mosque in order to set up an infirmary for the wounded.
Although Erdogan had stated that he has evidence for these claims and he was going to make them public on Friday, June 14th, nobody has ever seen this evidence. Still, Erdogan keeps claiming that demonstrators drank alcohol in the mosque.

The Imam of the Dolmabahçe Mosque Fuat Yıldırım, who was already put on leave after having declared that there was neither alcohol, nor group sex in the mosque, had to answer the official's questions. He said: "I had neither seen anyone drinking alcohol nor was there any alcohol at all in the mosque. I am a cleric. I cannot lie. I cannot say I saw something that I did not see. Maybe there were some people who drunk alcohol - I cannot know that. I saw a bottle that looked like a beer bottle only in front/outside of the mosque. I did not see anything in the mosque."

http://t24.com.tr/haber/valide-sultan-camisi-muezzini-din-adamiyim-yalan-soylemem-icki-icen-gormedim/232805

Gezi news in eleven languages

From the website of turkish "union.org"
http://gezipark.nadir.org/

Monday, 24 June 2013

“We Worry that Police Violence Might Go Unpunished”

"During the Gezi Resistance across Turkey, police violence left 4 protestors dead and 7,882 injured with 59 gravely injured. 71 demonstrators have been arrested for “public property damage”. Advocate Efkan Bolaç informed that no violent perpetrator police officers (except one) have yet to be arrested or prosecuted."

This is an article by the independent left journal on the unlikeliness that those people responsible for the excessive police violence, whether they committed the violence or whether they gave the orders, will ever be held responsible for it. 

bianet news: http://www.bianet.org/english/human-rights/147891-we-worry-that-police-violence-might-go-unpunished

Murderer of Ethem Sarisülük Released - Erdogan Praises the Police

Ahmet Şahbaz, the police officer who has shot dead protester Ethem Sarisülük in Ankara, has been released. The shooting was ruled to be "within the limits of self-defense."

Here is the link to an older article on this blog - you can find a video of the shooting there: http://resisttaksim.blogspot.co.at/2013/06/murder-police-in-ankara-moment-of.html

Meanwhile, PM Erdogan praised the police forces for the "heroism" they deployed during the protests. Speaking at a graduation ceremony at the Police Academy he rejected all criticism of the police and any allegation of excessive police violence. Probably, he as well, was watching documentaries on penguins and ants while the clashes were raging in the streets of nearly all major Turkish cities.

Resistance Aesthetics

Another interesting and informative article about the creative potential that has been triggered by the protests.

http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2013/june/occupygezi?fb_action_ids=10151755956874923&fb_action_types=og.likes&fb_source=other_multiline&action_object_map=[135202910018604]&action_type_map=[%22og.likes%22]&action_ref_map=[]

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Istanbul - City of Epic Protests

Sunday, 23.06.2013

The LGBTQ Pride March, as can be seen on the left picture, strechted through almost the whole Istiklal Avenue, while in Kadıköy, on the Asian side of Istanbul thousands attended the commemoration of the Sivas Massacre or Madimak Massacre, as it is sometimes called. In 1993 Alevi intellectuals and two members of the hotel staff were burned to death by radical islamists in Madimak Hotel, Sivas, where people had gathered for an Alevi conference. The main target of this attack, the writer and satirist Aziz Nesin escaped alive because he was not immediately identified in the chaos.

Public Anger against the Police is Growing after recent Incidents

"Police! Sell bagels, live honourable" Yesterday evening on Istiklal.

Another video from yesterday. The police intervenes in a side street of Istiklal Avenue, where people are eating, and enjoying the evening. As the police arrives they are faced with heavy protest from the citizens and they retreat instantly.


Amnesty International has made another press release two days ago, regarding the police violence in Turkey: http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/turkey-police-violence-threatens-pride-marches-taksim-square-2013-06-21

The rumors state that, the pressure on police forces and the institutions in general have been growing. So far there are 6 policemen reported to have committed suicide because of  the high pressure and the harsh working conditions and many more are said to be suicidal "put a bullet in his own head"; 1.600 Police officers were designated from İstanbul recently.

Meanwhile, this Tweet came from Security-Union Istanbul. "The people, who give police forces, who work non-stop for 120 hours in a half sleepy half awake condition, the order to carry out all these attacks, are responsible for every disproportionate use of violence."

Update: Watching this video may help you gain more insight on the subject(!)

Police Intervenes while 100 000 Commemorate the Dead

Taksim Solidarity had called for a meeting on Taksim Square on 22nd of June to commemorate the 4 people that have died in the course of the protests. The idea was to leave carnations in Gezi Parki to commemorate the dead.

Many local forums gathered in their own districts and marched unto Taksim Square. In the end some 100 000 people gathered at Taksim Square to  commemorate the dead.

Interestingly enough, Gezi Park still couldn't be accessed by people. While Erdogan and the Vali of Istanbul, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, made abundantly clear that they were clearing Gezi Parki for it being wrongly occupied by a minority while according to them Gezi Park has to be open for all citizens, after the park has been "cleaned" of the occupiers there are no more people allowed there, only public workers. While during the occupation there were actual citizens of Istanbul there, organizing theur lives by themselves in a communal way, now, after the "opening up" of the park to "the people", there is only police.

The state used that same Orwellian speech yesterday to dissolve the crowd gathering at Taksim Square. While Taksim Solidarity and several other organisations called the people to leave Taksim Square after the commemoration, the crowd just wouldn't go. So the state came up with the same idea and declared that people are illegaly occupying public space that should be open to all people and began clearing the whole area so that in the end there were no more people there but only police, which is, as we have seen by now, AKP's idea of how a public space is "open to all the people".

While the use of police violence was relatively moderate at the beginning (pushing with their shields and some water cannons) when compared to the civil-war-like athmosphere of the last weeks, the level of violence suddenly exploded once the people began resisting in Istiklal street and its sideroads, the use of batons, gas, plastic bullets and armoured vehicles was yet again the only response the police could think of. Propably the state realised this time that most of the international media is filming Taksim Square itself from hotel rooms in the immediate proximity of Taksim Square, but not so much the Istiklal street and its sideroads, and thus though it could present a nicer image of the interventions when relegating it to the roads off Taksim square. In the end, according to the Turkish Doctors' Association, 42 people were injured and an unknown number of people taken into custody.

As far as the Turkish media is concerned, again only Halk TV and Ulusal TV were reporting live from Taksim square and Istiklal. As a result, the police intervened and the police forced the cameraman of Halk TV to turn off his camera. The mainstream media once again excelled in being the state's most obedient lackey: CNN Turk was showing a documentary on ants, Sky Turk showed a cartoon and TRT1 the soccer match between Brazil and Italia. While Cihangir, one of the many districts close to Taksim Square/Istiklal street that have also been attacked by the police, was drowning in gas, CNN Turk, the shining star of critical journalism, was saying that "there may be gas used in Cihangir". We congratulate the Turkish media on its highly critical and investigative journalism.  But until the mainstream Turkish media will be awarded with the World Journalism Award, what makes us comfortable is the fact that we live in the 21st century and basically everybody can take pictures and videos and upload them on the internet.


In some of the links below you will find video footage and pictures.


links&sources:

http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/karanfil-toma-ve-gaz-bombasi-haberi-75180
http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/sov-bitti-taksimde-polis-gaz-bombasi-kullaniyor-0245-haberi-75165
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/istanbul-taksime-yuruyor-dakika-dakika/
http://www.etha.com.tr/Haber/2013/06/22/guncel/taksimde-direnise-devam/


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Tens of Thousands Staging a Solidarity Rally in Cologne

Tens of thousands of people have shown their solidarity with the democracy movement in Turkey and gathered for a solidarity rally in Cologne, Germany. The rally was organized by the Alevi community and attracted so many people that a planned march through the city had to be cancelled, because there would not have been enough space. The exact number of participants is not yet known, but it is estimated to be between 80 and 100 thousand. The main aim of this rally obviously was to express solidarity with the people struggling in Turkey, with the detained and imprisoned and with the dead. However, the people also expressed their solidarity with the protesters in Brazil and all over the world to show international solidarity.

http://www.rp-online.de/regionales/koeln/zehntausende-demonstrieren-gegen-erdogan-1.3487150

Custodies and Detentions

Up to now, most of the people that have been taken into custody have been released, i.e. the 4 people taken in custody in Adana several days ago. But today once again 6 socialists from various organisations have been taken into custody in Adana - so far only one of them has been released.

Out of the in total 69 people taken into custody from 18th April on, mainly from the socialist organisation ESP and the newspaper Atilim, so far 18 are detained, 17 are brought to court with the prosecutor opting for detention. Most others have been released.

In Ankara at least 16 people taken into custody with the allegiation of damaging public property have been released on grounds of lacking evidence.

Out of the 20 people taken into custody of the heroically fighting Besiktas supporters cArsi only 2 have been detained on grounds of illegal armament.


links&sources:
 

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Wave of Repression Against the Revolutionary Left Continues (II)

Today (Wednesday, June 19th), early in the morning at around 5 am in the city of Adana in Southeastern Turkey, the offices of the Özgürlükcü Genclik Dernegi (ÖGD; Association of Free Youth) have been raided and laid to waste by the police; on top of that, 3 members of the Toplumsal Özgürlük Parti Girisimi (TÖPG; Social Freedom/Party Initiative) and 1 member of the Sosyalist Yeniden Kurulus Partisi (SYKP; Party for Socialist Reconstruction) have been detained by the police with the allegation of being members of a so-called "illegal" organisation named TKP/K. The houses of 2 other socialists have been raided by the police but no detentions have been made in their cases (so far).

Interestingly enough, this very allegation has been used against several socialist organisations in the last few years, entirely ignorant of the fact, that the organisation in question ceased to exist 20 years ago.

The TÖPG has published a press statement the the title "The Defeated Attack" in which they make clear, that these wrong allegations have been launched at themfor many years and that nobody will be tricked by these wrong allegiations. The TÖPG statement also makes clear, that the AKP now tries to take revenge on all left-socialist and democratic sections of the society for its defeat suffered in Gezi and Taksim, i.e. that the people demand their democratic rights without taking permission from the government in power if it is compliant with their particular will.

The statement ends with the declaration that no conspiracy or tricks will stop people from fighting for and gaining their rights.

links&sources:
http://etha.com.tr/Haber/2013/06/19/guncel/kaybedenler-saldiriyor/

Resistance Continues - Some Pictures

"Something amazing is happening in Istanbul. In addition to the silent standing actions around the country, neighborhood assemblies are slowly starting to emerge in different places. As in Spain, Greece and the Occupy encampments before, the protesters in Turkey are starting to counter-pose their OWN form of direct democracy to the sham of a democracy proposed by the authoritarian neoliberal state of Erdogan and the AKP." (https://www.facebook.com/roarmag?ref=stream)
 Eskişehir, last night
 A journalist from Sabah (owned by Erdoğan's family members) has executed a "standing" act in front of the headquarters for 6 hours, before resigning from his job.
 A scene from Taksim Square.
Berlin Metro

A screenshot of the news report of Governor Mutlu (last week). You can see the word "marginal" eleven times in one report.

 Bride & Groom at the very spot where Ethem Sarısülük was shot dead by a police gun.


 Protest in Bingöl today, in front of the courthouse. "You throw stones at those who hold each others hands, than you release the man who raped a 16 year-old girl"



STATEMENT ON THE RECENT DEVELOPMENTS BY EGEMEN BAĞIŞ, MINISTER FOR EU AFFAIRS AND CHIEF NEGOTIATOR

This is an official declaration of the Ministry for EU Affairs

http://www.abgs.gov.tr/index.php?p=49004&l=2

" In recent days, we have been seeing that some European parliamentarians and officials are irresponsibly making very bold and irrational speeches. The broadcasts of the media in Western countries are also in the same vein."

" No one should exceed their limits by accusing the Republic of Turkey of using violence. Such allegations by European politicians and especially by countries whose own records are tarnished in this respect are unacceptable. There is no State violence in Turkey. There is the disallowance of a disregard for law and order by those taking cover behind demonstrators motivated by environmental concerns. We know the national and international players in this plot."

" Turkey has the most reformist and strongest government in Europe and the most charismatic and strongest leader in the world.  Should anyone have a problem with this, then I am truly sorry.  Only for those who feel overwhelmed, the leadership of Prime Minister Erdoğan is a problem."

"The players taking part in this plot should not raise their hopes in vain.  We will not allow either the interest lobby or the international networks to attack the integrity of the Prime Minister. Nobody is that strong."

No comment

The Resistance Continues and takes on New Forms: Turkey's 'Standing People' Protest and Popular Forums

While the major crackdown of the Police on Gezi Parki and Taksim Square on the weekend dissolved the occupation in the Park and "cleared" the Taksim Square of protestors (it is still forbidden to stage any political action on Taksim square, p.ex. shouting slogans) and a major wave of arrests and detentions on activists, journalists, doctors, etc. has begun, the Resistance/Democracy Movement is far from beeing defeated. While the Resistance Movement has now went past its peak (the occupation of Gezi and demonstrantions innearly all major cities of Turkey), it has now also spread across Istanbul and has taken on new forms. The Resistance/Democracy Movement is now in the process of recreation and of buildung up momentum again. 

 1. One of the new forms of resistance is the so-called "duranadam/kadin" (standing man/woman).
A day after the police "cleared" Taksim square and Gezi Park from protesters, a man started with a a silent act of mere standung, that lasted more than 5 hours while leaving the police clueless about what to do. This video shows the first intervention of the police.


 A CNN International report about the situation: Hundreds of Turks emulate 'Standing Man' in protest 

And here is the latest news from the silent standing man protests (#duranadam):

Protesters turn to passive resistance after four people die in Erdoğan's brutal response to Taksim Square demonstration

The puzzled police searched the standing man, but later on, dozens of people joined him doing the "standing man". Police warned that they will dissolve the people if they would keep that up. The initial "standing man" only ended his protest after police had begun to take other standing men into custody and said: "I am ready to be detained, but now they're detaining the others, so I will stop my protest now."

 He commented his protest as follows:

 "My protest is against the media... 4 people died and the media didn't even take notice. I want this system to change. It is not enough for the government to resign. What happens now is the result of a process of 10 years. The death of those 4 people will not be forgotten! The riot police was preparing to intervene. I stopped because I didn't want people to get hurt. I am just one person. Tomorrow another person will come and do the same. This will continue. The "standing man" is not identical with a person. I just wanted to express the sorrow I feel and to indicate the death of those 4 people. It could have been somebody else standing here. Standing Man is not reducible to a single person."

Upon this initial Standingman, this form of protest spread across Istanbul and the rest of the country, people standing i.e. at the place where one the demonstrators, Ethem Sarisülük, was shot bythe police, or where Hrant Dink, the Armenian journalist, was shot by a young nationalist 2007. 

It is reported that pro-AKP persons and the police are "countering" the standingman with "Standingman against Standingman" or, in the case of the police, with sitting down and reading  Tolstoi. Interestingly enough one of the "Standingman against Standingman" explains the "meaning" of their standing as follows: "we have now been silent for 20 days, this is not what democracy is about and how democracy is going to work." One is puzzled as to how one has to conceive this statement in view of the fact, that in the last 20 days there has been abundant statements by all kinds of AKP politicians condemning the protests as terrorism, as organized by the interest lobby, as planned long in advance by international and national agents and national traitors, etc. etc.

2. On the other hand, there is the protest form of combining the pans & post action (banging on pans and pots to create noise in solidarity with the protests and against police violence) with popular forums in now up to 12 different parks in Istanbul at 8 and 9 pm. Taksim Solidarity has explained, that these popular forums will be continued and indeed enlargened as long as the 4 initial demands have not been fullfilled. Also, the Gezi Park watch for Saturdays will be continued.

links&sources:
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/direnisin-yeni-simgesi-duranadam/#!
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/taksim-dayanismasi-21-00-eylemleri-surecek-parklarda-forumlar-buyutulecek/
http://www.milliyet.tv/video-izle/-Duran-adam-a-karsi--duran-adam--VFRliDBDvZcI.html
http://gundem.milliyet.com.tr/-duran-adam-in-karsisinda-kitap/gundem/detay/1725083/default.htm
another report in english:  http://bianet.org/english/youth/147740-every-park-become-gezi-park-in-turkey

 

International intellectuals call on Turkey to desist from its repression of popular protest

In a written statement on the repression of the Gezi Park protests across the country in Turkey, dozens of international intellectuals, inluding Judith Butler, Tarıq Ali, Wendy Brown, Slavoj Zizek, Etienne Balibar, called for the immediate end to the appalling state violence.

The joint statement by intellectuals said they deplored the recent crackdown of the Turkish government on its own citizens, the clearly unjustified use of tear gas, acts of force, gas canisters and smoke bombs that have resulted in a vast number of injuries, imperiling the lives of those who seek to exercise their basic freedoms of assembly and protest.

This assault of the Turkish government on its own people -the statement read- constitutes an attack on democratic principles and a departure from legitimate methods of governance —we unequivocally oppose such tactics of intimidation and state violence.

Calling upon the Turkish government to cease these violent actions immediately in the name of democratic principles, the intellectuals said they affirmed the aims of the popular resistance to the privatisation of public space, to the growing authoritarian rule dramatically instantiated by this objectionable display of state violence, and the preservation of public rights of protest.
Intellectuals called upon the government to

(a)stop the beating of all protesters and those in the media who seek to represent their point of view, including lawyers and journalists;
(b)cease obstructing access to medical care for the injured;
(c) put an end to the practice of unlawful detention and sequestering of protesters, medical personnel and legal counsel and
(d) facilitate access to medical care and legal representation for those injured by the police.

The statement ended saying that "we reaffirm the rights of popular dissent and resistance, the right to have access to a media uncensored by governmental powers, and the right to move and speak freely in public space as preconditions of democratic life".

 http://en.firatajans.com/news/news/international-monitors-to-observe-fifth-hearing-in-mass-trial-of-lawyers.htm