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Turkish Protests Escalate: A day of action begins

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | other press author Saturday June 01, 2013 17:00author by repost from Rabble Report this post to the editors

Turkish police force protestors in Metro station. Fill it with tear gas then lock the doors. 1 dead as a result

A seemingly minor issue to the Turkish government at least has sparked huge protests in Istanbul and in other cities in Turkey where plans to remove a city public park and replace it with a shopping mall has triggered in the space of 24 hours has triggered the protests. It seems everywhere people are fed up with the arrogance of politicians and their corrupt moneyed backers.

The Erdoğan government’s dictatorial approach to town planning has awakened a sleeping giant. In the space of 24 hours a simple protest over a park’s future has become a nationwide rebellion against authoritarian government, violent police and creeping Islamisation of a famously secular society. rabble’s men on the ground

(image Emre Kizilkaya @ekizilkaya on twitter)
(image Emre Kizilkaya @ekizilkaya on twitter)

The report comes from the Dublin magazine Rabble's two correspondents on the ground in Istanbul and they write:

Yesterday saw one of the biggest protests in Istanbul’s history. At 1pm the commercial centre of the cosmopolitan Pera district, Istiklal street, was trading normally. Ice-cream vendors were musically clanging their ladles to attract tourists in the temperate sun, but at the north end of the road, police with riot shields and under cover of a water-cannon were herding protesters into an underground metro station, before filling it with tear gas and locking the doors. At least one person died as a result, and dozens were seriously injured. Another confirmed dead was reported some hours later while hundreds are in hospital ...

[ What we see here and everywhere else is that the pattern of the previous several decades where people protested and some concessions and victories were allowed is now over. The pretense is over. It is naked Fascism in the sense of the proper merger of state and corporate power. Governments everywhere are now rolling back decades of regulations, environmental care, and social protection and justice built up over the last century. They now openly ignore and treat with contempt their populations and carry out their blatant corrupt, ignorant, destructive and violent practices and they have no hesitation in using repressive and violence to crush any opposition and at the same time the mainstream media is generally full onboard. ]

And the report continues:

This follows a string of brutal crackdowns on protesters occupying Gezi Park in opposition to plans to demolish it and construct a shopping mall in its place. Protesters built up from the 26th of May – hundreds initially to over a thousand by Thursday night. The numbers swelled as news spread of a dawn raid that morning in which the police gassed sleeping protesters, and baton-charged them from their tents which were burned at the scene. While the arrival of opposition politicians halted police action that day, the same tactics were repeated the morning at dawn and police remained to prevent reoccupation. Among those injured was Istanbul deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder during a sit-down protest, having been hit in the shoulder with a gas canister.

The Turkish police are known for their happiness to use tear gas. But protestors estimated that over 100 canisters were used on the morning of the 31st alone, in one of Istanbul’s busiest retail areas which is surrounded by hotels. The Gezi Park protest was already had wide appeal in that it stood against the privatisation of public space. Many Istanbul natives also question the logic of building a shopping mall at the end of a road that is famous for its shops and boutiques.

Their full report is available at the link below and is well worth reading.

Related Link:

Caption: The moment a quiet evening is suddenly turned to panic as police missiles are launched down the main shopping street

Caption: At 8pm the main Trade Union joined the protest and marched toward Taksim Square

Caption: Football ‘Ultras’ supporters groups, the bitterest of rivals, joined forces to try to retake the square. Reports claim that Galatasaray Ultras ‘freed’ some 50 Fenerbahçe Ultras arrested by police.

author by Joe Mcpublication date Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:43Report this post to the editors

Thanks for reposting . A protest yesterday at the Spire in O'Connell St by Turkish Occupy supporters living in Dublin attracted approximately thirty to forty people. Hopefully there will be some photographs posted . Despite the mass movement developing in the country , the usual mix of soap operas , reality shows and sitcoms dominated the TV in Turkey over the weekend. According to reports on social media, protesters in Istanbul and Ankara have been turning to news stations from outside Turkey for reports of the anti-government demonstrations.

(With two weeks to go to the G8 summit in Fermanagh it would be sensible to anticipate a similar media blackout in Ireland in the event of a mass movement developing here.. Ireland should begin organizing an independent media to respond to such events ,perhaps? )

author by Joe Mcpublication date Mon Jun 03, 2013 15:06Report this post to the editors

The WSM site has a pic of a demo in Dublin’s Stephens Green held on Saturday that attracted 150 people .There is also a video with an interview with a Turkish anarchist on the Gezi Park struggle in Istanbul recorded just before the Dublin demonstration.

perhaps we'll get a chance to read about the Irish anti-G8 mobilizations on Indymedia Istanbul !

author by wageslave - (personal capacity)publication date Mon Jun 03, 2013 19:52Report this post to the editors

This site is operated as a free and open non corporate service to the public. If nobody cares to use it and post, then what do you expect Joe?

It's as good or as bad as the people posting here.

However people seem to prefer to use corporate sites like facebook, where their personal details and IP addresses are stored and can be easily perused by government actors, and which can be shut down and removed from the internet with little or no warning. There have been quite a few cases of this.

Anyway, we're still here if people care to make use of the facility and we welcome people to post anything they can about the G8 protests here

author by Turingpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:54Report this post to the editors

Final Facebook post by Abullah Comert, the 22 year protester who was killed in Antakya today:

“In the last 3 days, I’ve slept for only 5 hours and I’ve escaped death 3 times. And you know what people say to me? ‘Why bother? Are you going to save the country by yourself?’ Yes, and if we can’t we’ll die trying. (I am so tired, I have gulped down 7 cans of energy drink, and I have taken 9 painkillers, my voice is gone, but I’ll be out on the street again at 6 AM for revolution’s sake)

Abdullah Comert
Abdullah Comert

author by Turingpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:22Report this post to the editors

"Dear Comrades,

Greetings from the anti-facist resistance in Turkey!

As you can observe from international news, there are growing waves of protests all over Turkey against AKP government which has been acting as a dictator for ten years. The resistance against fascist forces of AKP dictatorship began with the protests of the small group against destruction of the Gezi Park, only green area in Taksim. After police forces’ massive and brutal attacks to protesters, protests became widespread both in Istanbul and the rest of Turkey. These protests represent the awakening of Turkish nation to defend the right of assembly and democratic protests, freedom of express and the idea of democratic society. Last four days police forces are attacking to people with tear gas, Agent Orange and water cannon. On the other hand fascist groups who are carrying iron clubs are attacking to people brutally wherever they see a protester.

We, as anti-imperialist and anti-fascist forces, are not going to stop our resistance without overthrowing the government. AKP dictatorship and its fascist forces will learn that: ‘El pueblo unido jamás será vencido ! ’

We want you to support our resistance! Show your decisive reaction against servants of US imperialism. One of the best supports from you is to stop diplomatic relations with AKP government.

Long live anti-imperialist and anti-fascist struggle!

Long live international revolutionary solidarity!

Youth Union of Turkey"

Related Link:
author by JoeMcpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 12:42Report this post to the editors

It’s not that people prefer using facebook to this site -which is far more closely monitored than facebook is, by the way- they just feel that the indymedia ireland collective no longer supports the anti-globalization movement from which the indymedia project originated . In two weeks time world leaders including war criminals such as Obama , Merkel , Cameron, Hollande are meeting in Ireland . These people are directly responsible for formulating the rightwing policies of the Turkish government that led to the death of Abdullah Comert.

Mobilizations are planned north and south of the border in opposition to G8 -in Dublin , Belfast and Fermanagh itself .Mass repression is being organized by the state in the north , the mobile phone network is to be suspended, prisons reopened , special magistrate courts due to sit, etc.According to the corporate media - which is of course completely onside with G8 - the southern state is working in full cooperation with its counterparts in the north to ensure the summit takes place with the least possible disruption .

For the last month the indymedia ireland site’s front page has featured an article about an event due to take place in Rossport on the week after the G8 meeting takes place.

author by JoeMcpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 14:32Report this post to the editors

Turkish bond yields have surged to their highest point since 2006 and the Turkish lira and stocks fallen dramatically over the past week reflecting fears in the international monetary market at the anti government demonstrations across the country . Reuters reports that Turks have begun to close their accounts and withdraw their money from banks .

“The markets are scared,” Jerome Broex, a currency and fixed income trader at Turkish Bank in Istanbul, said in e- mailed comments quoted in the SF Chronicle today. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen next.”

author by wageslave - (personal capacity)publication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 14:53Report this post to the editors

"It’s not that people prefer using facebook to this site -which is far more closely monitored than facebook is, by the way- they just feel that the indymedia ireland collective no longer supports the anti-globalization movement from which the indymedia project originated ."

With respect, that's complete and utter bollocks Joe. We don't write the stuff. It's up to the public. Nobody bothered to write anything we could featurise. Personally I'd like nothing better than to see a decent article on the G8 which we could featurise and put on the front page. How's that for a lack of support?

Care to write something substantial to test your theory and see if we support the anti G8 efforts by publishing it on our front page instead of making false and divisive remarks??

author by JoeMcpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 16:46Report this post to the editors

I don't think you'd have much trouble finding enough material for a feature on G8 amongst the various threads if it was the case that you would "like nothing better than to see a decent article on the G8", Wageslave .But thanks for the belated feature offer all the same, I'll mention it to some of the Dublin organizers . (You should try to relate your comments in some way to the thread topic btw. I noted indymedia ireland's failure to featurise G8 mobilizations in relation to the news blackout in Turkey .)

Rte reports that over 240,000 public sector workers in Turkey are staging a 36-hour strike.
in response to what union leaders have called "state terror" against demonstrators.

Antalya Metropolitan Municipality refused to provide water for police riot control vehicles. The municipality, led by the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Mayor Mustafa Akaydın, refused to allow police to tap into the water tanks belonging to firefighters to use on protesters.

author by xpublication date Tue Jun 04, 2013 16:54Report this post to the editors

All you have to do to get something put up as a feature is write an original article - with content, rather than just links and some embedded images - and it'll get put on the front of the site. There isnt exactly a flood of decent reading material coming in.

author by Turingpublication date Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:33Report this post to the editors

comes around.


Related Link:
author by Turingpublication date Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:47Report this post to the editors

Turkish protesters attack FSA HQ in Turkey and burn the french mandate flag!!


Related Link:
author by joe mcpublication date Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:40Report this post to the editors

Woman in Red Dress Turkey 2013

this image of a woman in a red dress being pepper sprayed by police in Turkey has become a symbol of the “Occupy Gezi” protests.

Woman in Red Dress , Russia 1917

author by Tpublication date Thu Jun 06, 2013 00:08Report this post to the editors

Live updates are on the twitter link below

Related Link:
author by Tpublication date Fri Jun 07, 2013 00:45Report this post to the editors

This is taken from a report posted at:

Irfan Erdogan, erdogan.irfan[at],

I am writing this to inform you that people in over 65 cities of 81 in Turkey are demonstrating against the reactionary and oppressive regime of Tayyip Erdogan and his party. We have demonstrations even in the most reactionary cities in Turkey. People in every neighborhood in the cities are on the street. Police throw gas bombs at demonstrators, beat and arrest people. It is not like in the late 1960s, because people did not care about us much then. We students were demonstrating for independence and socialism then. Now everybody is on the street. Nobody cheered when we were demonstrating in the late 60s in Turkey. Now people are cheering and supporting the demonstrators. Today we have more people on the street in my neighborhood in Ankara than yesterday. Police are shooting gas bombs inside the houses because people are providing shelter for demonstrators who are escaping from gas and police beatings. Youngsters and people from every walk of life are on the street and want the Erdogan government to resign. Erdogan uses the classic rhetoric about demonstrators and he threatens them by saying that he can send one million supporters to the street (he means, to smash the demonstrations). He says: "I keep 50 percent of the population at home" (he means that he can use 50 percent of people who support him against the other people). His mindset and approach reminds me of Jay Gould who said once that he is not worried about demonstrations and labor strikes, because he can hire one-half of the working class to kill the other half. For a lot of people, Erdogan is a reactionary dictator. In Turkey people are scared to say something against Erdogan. Television did not provide any news about the demonstrations except the television stations of the major opposition party and Turkish Labor party television, because mainstream media either support the administration or are scared of Erdogan’s rage/wrath. People in Istanbul walked in front of the major television stations and announced that if they do not feature them in the news they will occupy the TV station. Then, TV stations started reporting, but in a highly distorted manner. After this incident, very few media personnel resigned from their posts in the TV channel. Erdogan scolded the Reuters journalist who dared to ask him a question that he did not like. The Internet is used for the most effective channel of communication and organization of the protests by everybody. Erdogan expressed his utmost anger against Twitter and social media. Everybody uses their mobile phone for communication and recording the events and putting/disseminating them on the Internet. Mainstream media started lying as usual. Two main labor unions in Turkey run by those who ask some meaningless concessions from the government try to stop workers to demonstrate, but workers are on the street, too. Demonstrations are rapidly spreading all over the country. Soon, I know, religious reactionaries (not all religious people are reactionary) will attack demonstrators. There is a high probability that we will witness a domestic/civil war in Turkey. ....

Full text at link

Related Link:
author by Crazy catpublication date Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:29Report this post to the editors

Here is a report on the events until about the 6th of June.

Don't worry, it's in English, shame she hasn't got round to putting up the translation yet

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