miercuri, 5 iunie 2013

Guest Post - Gezi Park

I asked some of my friends from Turkey to write a couple of words about the events that are currently going on there. Here's what they want everybody to know:

The incidents started with the protesting of Gezi Park in Taksim, İstanbul. A group of young people took legal action against the park to be turned into a shopping mall with the trees cut down. Furthermore, they protested. They took their tents and started the watch for the park. They never applied violence, they did not have any weapons. When the police forces came as a reaction they chose to read book to the officers and they offered their food. One night, this group of peaceful protestors were attacked brutally in the park; they were assaulted, poisoned with pepper gas and their tents were burnt. That unfortunate happening sparked a long waited flame in Turkish people' s heart. For the last ten years, we were gradually being bullied by the government, step by step. 

They imprisoned everyone who were against them: our enlightened people (writers, journalists, academicians)  and our military commanders. They silenced media, press. They sold every institution of country like Turk Telecom (national communication institution) and banks, and petrol stations, and so on. They brought their kinsmen to all chairs of the country: governorships, municipalities, university rectors and high school principals, and so on. They tried to remove our national holidays, customs and values. They insulted the founders of our republic, Atatürk particularly. They changed the education system and the content of the school books.  They brought immeasurable taxes on alcohol and now they are trying to forbid the sell of alcohol during night. The examples are countless. In all, it can be said that the government threatens the republic and secularism. 

The government gets involved in our way of living and the Prime Minister becomes more tyrannical each day. The case of Gezi Park, at this point, is symbolically important to all Turkish people, for now it is the symbol of resistance against tyranny and brutality. For almost a week now, people from all walks of life go into streets and protest. The most important thing is that, these people, protestors are not from any organization or political party, bu they are PUBLIC. They act with a common sense. Furthermore, the protestors are completely peaceful people who does not hurt any people or harm any property. There are some provocateurs among the groups but they are being suppressed by massive crowd itself. The police attacks these protestors with many serious weapons. They drop from helicopter pepper. Random people; old people and children, even people who stay at home are getting affected by this poisonous gas. Some people who wore eye lenses lost their seeing because the plastic melted in their eyes.

 People cannot go to the streets without wearing masks. Police also use pistols to shoot the pepper gases and they shoot them on people. These cans of pepper gas injured many people from the head especially. There are also some videos on Facebook and Youtube and other internet sources that show police actually shoot these gases inside some buildings and some homes. Orange gases are used as well. Innocent people just because they are protesting are beaten to death by the police. There are also some groups on the streets that walk side by side with police who are civilians and carry long sticks with nails. It is clearly seen on the videos that the police does not touch them, on the contrary works with them and together they attack protestors. For the last two days they tried to freeze the social networks by affecting internet. The Prime Minister declared that Facebook and Twitter are evil. For public, since the press does not show anything, social media is the precious source of news for people. They also put jammer to prevent communication between protestors. Mobile phones do not work at some areas. Many buildings, cafes, restaurants, hotels, homes and mosques are turned into emergency rooms for injured people. Approximately 500 people are hurt so far and 2000 are arrested. All around the country, in 62 cities, people protest. After 21:00 all people at home start to make noise with all kinds of metal  tools and show their contribution to the protests. 

All cars sound the horns. National flags are hung everywhere; homes, schools, markets, mosques and etc. The protests will continue. More and more help from different institutions come every hour. Occupational groups take decisions of strike. Turkish people are all united against this tyrannical power. Prime Minister still does not care. He says he came with the votes of the majority and does not have to answer to some looters who protest, and today, he took a trip to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia. Turkish people cannot stand the politics and enforcement of this government anymore. We will resist for the Park, for our Future, Republic and Freedom.

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