On Turkey : analysis, feeds

June 17, 2013

Newsfeed from June 16 : Police Continue Attacking The People of Istanbul

Source : Occupied Taksim

00.28 Police have attacked Besiktas.

22.52 Reports coming from those arrested that the police are keeping the under inhuman conditions. Those being taken to Vatan police station are being kept in buses with the heat on. The lawyers are being prevented from giving water to those under arrest. According to reports from lawyers, tiny cells have been filled with over 50 people.
The police are beating people with batons under Karakoy Bridge. Even the waiters and waitresses working there have been arrested. Police have used excessive violence, many wounded.
Hundreds demonstrating in Yeni Sahra.

2,000 have blocked the road in Acibadem chanting “The Government Must Resign!”

22.26 The demonstration held regularly in Uskudar has been attacked by those returning from the AKP demonstration. While none were injured, the demonstrators have retreated to Dogancilar Park.
A bus full of arrested people in front of the Ramada Hotel (Harbiye/Osmanbey). Police are beating those inside.

6 buses full of gendarme troops transported to Besktas

22.28 Thousands in Ikitelli march to Ataturk Quarter

22.26  Thousands marching to Taksim from Akaretler (Besiktas) chanting “We Will Reclaim Taksim Tonight!”



22.18 Thousands of people assembled in the Gazi Quarter.

22.17 Excessive use of gas in the Ornektepe district of Okmeydani making it impossible to breathe (photo from Taksim, earlier today).

22.13 Approximately 700 people marching in Maltepe (on the Asian side).

22.10 Clashes have intensified in the neighbourhood of Okmeydani.

21.50 The public buses in Eminonu are only taking those from the AKP demonstration earlier today. The people are reacting to this situation.
21.46 A crowd armed with knives are attacking the demonstrators around Tophane. Aytug Akdogan has tweeted:
“I am in Tophane at the moment. They are handing out knives to the young people here. Don’t come here. I don’t know whose distributing the knives. Maybe the young people are sharing their ‘tools.’”

On Tepebasi Avenue, near the Pera Palas Hotel and Sishane there are hundreds of people from Kasimpasa armed with wooden clubs and cleavers. They are attacking the demonstrators in the alleys. More than 3 bus are full of those arrested.

21.35 Around 10,000 marching on Galata Bridge.

21.25 Attacks by AKP members have intensified. The police are taking an increasing number of people into custody.

21.17 A crowd has gathered in front of the CHP Istanbul headquarters in Sishane (near Taksim). They have thrown rocks at the building where two CHP MP’s were staying. The crowd later dispersed.
21.10 The people have closed the junction between the TEM highway and the neighbourhood of Nurtepe. The police have attacked them with gas bombs.
21.02 As in earlier days of the protests the people of Istanbul have started clanking pots and pans in various districts, later taking to the streets. The reaction is as intense as the first days.
21.00 It has been reported that a group of people armed with knives and cleavers have tried to attack the demonstrators.
20.40 The police have beaten a protester for minutes in Kurtulus. The beaten citizen was dragged to a police vehicle.



20.35 Massive crowd gathered in Besiktas, Ortabahce Avenue.
20.23 Clashes between the police and the people continue between Karakoy-Dolmabahce. The barricades in Karakoy:
20.15 Crowd assembled in Karakoy, forming barricades.
20.14 An architect associated with the Council of Socialist Engineers and Architects and a reporter from the Yurt newspaper were taken into custody near Tarlabasi. They were released after 50 minutes
20.10 Police have attacked a crowd of thousands assembled in Dolmabahce, marching to Karakoy.
20.06 The police have attacked the people assembled near the Osmanbey Metro Station with water cannons. Bulldozers are clearing the barricades on Halaskargazi (Sisli).
20.04 The police are threatening the people who have gathered at the windows of their homes in Ergenekon Avenue (Sisli). They are also reportedly collecting the emptied gas canisters.
Despite the threats of the police, the people continue clanking pots and pans in protest.
19.50 Tens of thousands assembled in Dolmabahce, marching towards Karakoy to cross into Taksim. The people are chanting “The People Will Not Bow Before You,” and “Side by Side Aganst Fascism!”
19.46 The Taksim Ilkyardim hospital is under a shroud of gas. According to news on sendika.org the medical attendants are coming out of the hospital and reacting to police brutality.
19.44 The police are not allowing anyone without yellow press cards into Taksim. They are stopping everyone on the roads to Taksim and are confiscating their gas masks and safety helmets.
19.43 The police have attacked a crowd 1000 people in Osmanbey with water containing red paint.
19.38 Police are attacking people in the alleys of Kurtulus.
19.37 Police are shooting gas at the people assembled in front of the Galata Tower.
19.29 Photo from Istiklal Street:



Textile Workers Union/Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK)

On Monday, ten thousands of people gathered in Taksim Square and ten thousands marched in all districts of Istanbul and in many cities.

Police attacked Taksim Square by claiming to clean statue and buildings from placards and open Taksim to the traffic the next day. Istanbul mayor claimed that this was against marginal, illegal and terrorist groups and they don’t have any “problem” with “environmentalists” in Gezi Park. Government tried to provoke people to each other and divide them by radicals vs pacifists, illegals vs innocents, marginals vs environmentalists. There was a heavy attack and this propaganda didn’t work. People resisted together from various political movements. Also police attacked to Gezi Park as well. Clashes continued until 3 am next day, all day and night, people gathered and clashed with police. All Taksim was under cloud of pepper gas. At 7 pm, hundred thousand people gathered and protested government but suddenly, without any warning police attacked heavily over people to create panic and fear. There might be a massacre very close to the May Day massacre of 1977 (attack had organized similarly), police poured water and throw pepper gasses over everyone. Then clashes continue in all streets of Taksim. People in Gezi Park didn’t leave the Park despite the heavy gas and police couldn’t intervene to the Park.

Since Tuesday, police stays at the Taksim Square and thousands of protesters stay at the Park. At 7 pm, people gather and continue protesting the government.

Since Saturday, Prime Minister and Mayor have been threatening people. Today they declared that there would not be any more protest 24 hours later. This mean there may be more attacks over people. Also government plans to organize two demonstrations in Istanbul and Ankara as a counterforce to people. Government tries to polarize people, provoke each other. Prime Minister also repeatedly state lies as “protestors drank beer in the mosque” (when police attacks, people carried injured people to a mosque and doctors looked after them. Imam of the mosque also stated that nobody drank beer and people were injured. Then government started investigation for the imam), “protestors disturb girls who cover their heads”, “they are burning Turkish flag” (despite most protestors carry Turkish flag etc) etc to provoke people to each other. PM is the first prime minister who provokes civil war. But until now people stopped all kinds of provocation. Government also blames “dark forces”, “forces who would like coup d’etat”, “agents of foreign countries who don’t want Turkey as a global power” and such bullshits.

On Tuesday, lawyers protested police attack over people and police also attacked and arrested them. On Wednesday, in many cities lawyers protested this attack.

According to the report of TTB (Turkish Doctors Association) 4 people were killed, 5000 people were injured. 30 of them were heavily injured. 10 people lost their eyes. Also thousands of people were taken under custody. In Izmir and Adana, more than 40 people were taken under custody because of insulting PM via twitter.

People are not only angry to the authoritarian rule of PM and his interventions to daily lives of people (as don’t drink alcohol, make 3 children, don’t let your children to do bla bla) also people protest contradictory statement of the mayor, and excessive violence of police who uses pepper gas very heavily. People also protest mainstream media which doesn’t show real news and protect government. While CNN International was showing clashes, CNN Turkish was showing documentary on penguins. Media also makes propaganda as innocent protestors vs marginal-illegal provocateurs etc.

From the labour movement, DISK KESK and Unity Platform (opposition within Turk İş) participated to this mobilization. However mostly young people from colleges and universities, white colour professionals, women participate to this mobilization. Many different political currents share their opposition to the government. People chant slogans as “down with fascism”, “government resign”.

The basic demands of the Taksim Solidarity are Gezi Park should stay as a park. Mayor and other responsible authorities should resign, people under custody should be freed, all bans to demonstrate in central squares of cities should be lifted.

I would like to mention that there is a communal life in Gezi Park. It is forbidden to sell anything within the park. People bring all food, drinks and other necessities and they are shared collectively by people under the control of Taksim Solidarity. There are free “revolution markets” and restaurants that people work voluntarily. Doctors, lawyers also work voluntarily. Artists give concerts, all political groups present their works in their tables, protestors enjoy freedom of speech, there is a free çapul (chapul:looter) Tv and radio organized by protestors. People use social media vey frequently and share their feelings and express their necessities via twitter. First time, people enjoy freedom of expression fully. However people are very sensitive and careful to provocative usage of twitter by police and secret policies who try to create fight among different political currents.

There is an international support that many people from different countries visit Gezi Park. For instance from Kenya to Brazil, people use www.yemeksepeti.com to send food for the protestors by paying via their credit cards.

Lastly, I would like to mention the great humour presented during the mobilization. Turkish people generally don’t smile in their daily lives, but since the mobilization, despite the heavy attacks, people smile and help each other and make fun of the government. Every threat of the PM and ministers is converted to a joke to make fun of them and give motivation to people. Young people are understood to be very creative. PM accused protestors to be looters (chapulcu) and marginals and people suddenly accepted the word chapul and “we are all chapulcu” is accepeted by the people. Also English version is found as “chappuling”. “everyday i am chapulling”. Or “lets destroy AKP government and build a shopping mall over it”. Someone holding a paper after an intense gas bomb “at the beginning there was gas and cloud, then life starts”. Also experiences are shared about pepper gas “at the first, you are shocked, then by the second, you are angry, and at the third, you get used to it and love it”. People chant slogans against police as “leave your mask and helmet, and come over us one more time, let see who is braver?”.


Turkey, a Beauty, When Angry

By Sibel Özbudun

[Translated by Yiğit Us]

With respect and love and rage for Ethem Sarısülük, who was shot dead by police in the resistance act of Kızılay, Ankara, June, 1, 2013

They are still calling it “a matter over a few trees,” and they are still bullying people.

Demolishing Gezi Park was not enough, he, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is now saying he shall demolish the mall that he decided to be built there; and instead, there will be both an opera building and a mosque. “I have my permit, my voters voted me for this,” he shouts… And he adds: “I won’t beg permission for this from a bunch of pillagers…”

So, he is still not comprehending or still not willing to comprehend that what caused the rise of hundreds of thousands people is not “a few trees,” but his self-opinionated attitude.

Or, perhaps, comprehending what caused this does not serve his purpose.

Tayyip Erdoğan is not just a politician who, using solely his position of power, attempts to appropriate his Islamic references to whole society, and therefore to shape and order the lives of people according to conservative-and-sacrosanct values.

He is that, but also he is a man of capital who worships the free market economy and neo-liberal capitalism, sworn to integrate the whole 776 thousand square kilometer square land that is Turkey into the global market.

In his greedy mind, the mosques and the shopping malls, the religious community and finance, and the religious service and the profit are intertwined.

Therefore, with a ruler in one hand, he measures our lives according to what he deems to be holy, and with his other hand, he leaves the door of our living space open to the plunder of capital.

Quoting the famous Sufi Poet Yunus Emre, “I love the created because of the Creator”, he puts in force a regime of vicious sub-contractors that causes the impoverishment and insecurity of “the created,” causing them to work until death for less than little with no future, hanging by the thread on the whims of an employer.

Quoting the will of the Prophet, “To be proud of the numbers of Ummah [the religious,]” he orders the women to “give birth to at least three children,” and transforms their children into cheap labor force for the ambitious Anatolian capital.
Saying “Green is a boon,” he turns parks and gardens and forests into benefits available to companies, later to adorn cities with imported trees.

In a fire sale, Erdogan lets go of the water of the land, and pipes it into the “partisan” energy companies of various size that he himself let flourish.

Perhaps taking inspiration from the saying of Prophet Mohammed, “Allah loves subjects tired of working for halal bread,” Erdogan, with all his might, is working round the clock to increase the shares of Islamic capital from the neo-liberal plunder.

And all the while, Erdogan expects the impoverished, the plundered, and those with constantly lowered life standards to be in standing ovation for the bones thrown at their feet, or instead, at least watch him with drowsy eyes and shrug off.

This time, he went wrong…

Was it the onslaught of the riot police, covered in steel from head to toe, against the kids on night watch for the trees, or the attack of the machines scooping off the trees while the police gassed down the kids and unearthed their tents?

In other words, was it the lust of the greedy capital to swallow the last park, the last haven of the Istanbul plebs, where the students hid skipping school, where naïve lovers meet, where the retired meet to play a few games of backgammon, where the homeless sleep in summer, and where the vagrant have fun drinking their cheap wine in hiding? Was it this that caused people to rise up?

Or was it the awareness of this last place in the heart of Istanbul without concrete was about to be ripped off from them forever (be it for Barracks, or for a mall, or for a museum,) and they were about to be exiled from their last land?

Or was it the viciousness of the way the young women and men whose only crime was to play guitar and sing songs to protect their space were smitten down with water cannons, gas and batons?

Or perhaps it was the distribution of stolen living spaces to international capital, or it was the sub-contractors, the unemployment, the interventions towards different lifestyles, or the PM imitating a self-opinionated Sultan, or the police regime practiced under a hypocritically called advanced democracy, the corruption, or the whimsical arrests on the wee small hours of the day to be kept behind bars for years without ever seeing the courtroom, or the recklessness in which the country was step by step dragged into the swamp of the Middle-East…

Were these the cause of this unexpected collective explosion of anger that trickled into a pool?

Probably, a mixture of all of the above. And yet, an Anotolian ¡Ya basta!…

The most important quality of this reaction, publicized among citizens through social media, via SMS, talks in haste, and beating pots and pans, is its spontaneity.

And also another important quality is that it is multi-faceted. And so, a coalition of discontent, from all walks of life, and all of a sudden sprang into action: the hopeless young urban poor running to city centers from the suburbs; the workers imprisoned to subcontracted and disorganized labor and killed one by one in work murders; the football fanatics whose only joy in life is a cup of cheap beer at the corner pubs; the women whose bodies are considered debits to the state by Erdogan’s creepy claim that “Every abortion is Roboskî;” the students whose arms and legs were broken by riot police and gassed down on every occasion; the artists whose creative activities are pinned down with the zealous control of the market and the bureaucracy of religious community; the seculars and atheists who fear that their life styles are under threat; the environmentalists who helplessly fight against the pillaging of the urban and the environment; Alevis who are cast off as others at every occasion, whose believes are belittled, and living an anxious existence under the threat of Turkey’s possible military intervention to the Middle East.

If there are those take a glance at this spontaneously organized attempt and wish for a thing like the coup d’etat of May 27, 1960 happening again, they are waiting in vain. Those who take it to streets; those who capture the squares inch by inch, clashing with the police for hours and days, despite the tons of gas that rain on them; those who barricade the roads; those who bandage each other’s wounds; or those who support them by leaning down from the windows almost to a fall and clamoring with hitting pots and pans; those shopkeepers who open the doors of their establishments to those affected by gas, wounded and give away sandwiches, bagels, water and lemonades; and students of medicine who rush to the aid of those hit by gas bombs under makeshift infirmaries; and the lawyers who wait before the Police HQs to retrieve the arrested…

These are no one’s soldiers. In fact, for most of them, the word “soldier” invokes the eerie memories of the bloody and dark days of recent history.

They are ordinary people reacting towards the possession of their living spaces little by little by giant capital, who yearn for a life to which neither state nor the religion interferes on behalf of any holy value, who yearn for a life that becomes an honorable human person, and for a life that is free, brotherly and equal.

How do I know this? I know this since they possess the ability to transform this monumental reaction into a festive scene of liberty. I know this since they, excitedly, rush their wounded friends to cafes-turned-into-infirmaries. I know this since they become friends, free and easy, with comrades who were former strangers. I know this since there are young women among them in plenty, and I know this since they are determined not to retreat a step back. I know this since there is this puckish smile on their faces while throwing a stone at a police or running away from a cloud of gas. I know this since even when causing havoc, they consciously select the targets of their rage: CCTVs, kiosks of municipality, and ATMs… But, for example, not bookstores, groceries, cafes, and restaurants.

No, they are not soldiers of anyone.

This explosion is due the anger of those ordinary people who just want to live humanely: This anger is historical and strong. Its spontaneity and sincerity is both its strength and weakness. With its insistence, its boldness, and its persistence, astonishing even to the protestors, this movement is strong. Yet, its unorganized body, aware to the forces it faces, but unable to formulate what it wants, is its weakness.

There is now a historical mission for revolutionaries and socialists, in order not to get yet another disappointing result, to reveal the liberal, egalitarian and fraternal potential of this solid anger. We all owe this to Ethem Sarısülük shot dead by police bullet at the resistance of June 1.

This historical mission is upon their shoulders, to quote the poet Orhan Veli, in order not to “Stare at the wake of a departing ship,” or in other words, in order not to miss a big opportunity, once again.

June 2, 2013


Latest developments in Turkey

Pazartesi, 03 Haziran 2013 09:12

04:20 – The attack of the ACP-fascism is the massacre! ..

Two people are dead!

Ethem Sarisülük who was shot by police in Ankara in the head, and a person in Istanbul 1 May Fourth, who was also shot by the police, have lost their lives in the hospital …

1:30 clock

The demonstrations at Sarıgazi continue in all the streets. The Police used stun grenades. Also in Samandira there are clashes between the population and the police …


In Okmeydani 20 thousand people marched in the evening to the ACP-building in Sütlüce. The forces of protest, which also includes Grup Yorum, are marching every day at 9:00 clock to the ACP-building …

In Dersim, the people have stormed the police station. Its all windows were broken and the police station is under the control of the population. Also 2 TOMA water cannons were destroyed …

In Istanbul’s Gülsuyu the population has the E-5 highway blocked by thousands of people and supports the nationwide actions …

The people in Sarıgazi continue their resistance. In all the streets, the participants range from teenagers to elderly women and men and they fight with stones against the police forces.

The demonstration by the People’s Committee in Gazi, which started against the AKP tyranny at 20:00 clock, was attacked by the police and there were clashes, which continue outside the police station in Gazi …

Thousands of people march in Bursa and fight with the police …


The resistance in Sarıgazi continues, the police shooting at the people!

The population of Sarıgazi continues the resistance to the ACP-fascism. The police are powerless against the resistance of the people and shot into the crowd. Two people were injured.


The nation continues to provide resistance against fascism!

In Sarıgazi 5000 people went to the ACP-fascism on the streets. The forces of fascism attacked the protest with gas bombs. The clashes between the people and the police in Sarıgazi currently go on …


In Istanbul’s Gazi 10 thousand people march against fascism

The population of Gazi came together in the evening and marched towards Cemevi (Alevi community center). The people, whose number constantly increased, gathered before the fascist base in Gazi, the police station.

The police met the protesters who pelted the police station with stones, with firearms. The clashes in the district of Gazi go on …

Police in Kızılay / Ankara arrest anyone who gets into their hands.

A vehicle drove directly into the crowd in Ankara, injuring dozens of people!

We have been informed that the police in Ankara had driven a car at high speed into the crowd and it has left many people seriously injured.

Not content with this, the police in Ankara have arrested all persons on the Kızılay Square. The dimension of the conflict in Ankara is growing every minute …