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> Peaceful Protest Over Istanbul Park Turns Violent As Police Crack Down
Renan
post Jun 1 2013, 09:39 AM
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ISTANBUL — Police officers attacked a group of peaceful demonstrators on Friday in Istanbul’s Taksim Square with water cannons and tear gas, sending scores of people, protesters and tourists alike, scurrying into shops and luxury hotels and turning the center of this city into a battle zone at the height of tourist season.
The police action was the latest violent crackdown by the government against a growing protest movement challenging plans to replace a park in Taksim Square, Istanbul’s equivalent of Cairo’s Tahrir Square, with a replica Ottoman-era army barracks that would house a shopping mall.

But while the removal of the park, which is filled with sycamore trees and is the last significant green space in the center of Istanbul, set off the protests at the beginning of the week, the gatherings have broadened into a wider expression of anger against the heavy-handed tactics and urban development plans of the government and its leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. His party, now in power a decade, is increasingly viewed by many Turks as becoming authoritarian.

Mr. Erdogan still has great support among Turkey’s religious masses, but secular critics cite his government’s sweeping prosecution and intimidation of journalists as evidence of its intolerance of dissent.

Much of the anger also centers on the struggle over Istanbul’s public spaces. Mr. Erdogan’s government has proceeded with disputed urban development plans with little public input, while his police forces have increasingly used tear gas against peaceful protesters, resulting in scores of injuries, including the hospitalization on Friday of a Kurdish lawmaker, who had become a vocal participant in the protests, after he was hit by a tear gas canister.

The protest movement comes amid continued public anger at Turkey’s policy of supporting the rebels in Syria, which many Turks feel has led to a violent spillover inside Turkey, including recent car bombings in the southern city of Reyhanli, which killed dozens of people. The rising public disenchantment represents a significant political challenge to Mr. Erdogan, who is planning to run for the presidency next year and has been trying to alter the Constitution to create a more powerful presidential system.

In the early afternoon Friday, as protesters gathered and began shouting antigovernment chants, police officers in riot gear began surrounding the group, positioning vehicles that resembled tanks at the edge of the square around the protesters, who were mostly sitting.

“Taksim is ours; we are not giving it to the A.K.P.!” they chanted, referring to Mr. Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P.

As they chanted, police officers casually put on their gas masks and the operators of the tanklike vehicles aimed their big guns, which fire a mixture of water and tear gas, at the group. Then chaos erupted. Protesters and onlookers, some of them tourists, ran down side streets where shopkeepers offered sliced lemons to soothe the burning sensation of the gas, and pharmacists doled out ointments for skin burns.

“The pigs, the pigs,” said Esra Yurtnac, who was crying as she sought refuge in a bakery after being gassed. “All they know is how to use gas.”

She added, “They think they can silence us with force, but they won’t.”

Hours after the clashes with protesters, an Istanbul court on Friday ruled in favor of a petition by a local advocacy group and halted the project until parties submitted their legal arguments to court, the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency reported. The interior minister also pledged on Friday that claims of excessive force would be investigated.

The chaos followed a dawn raid on an Occupy Wall Street-style encampment in Gezi Park, near Taksim, in which the police also used tear gas to drive away protesters and later barricaded the park. In an earlier raid on the camp, on Thursday, the police set fire to some tents. The brief occupation of the park, which began after bulldozers had started to take down trees, had taken on a festival-like atmosphere, with yoga, barbecues and musical performances, while those gathered chanted, “Taksim is ours! Istanbul is ours!”

The people adorned the camp with banners expressing the rising anger at the reshaping of Istanbul’s urban spaces by the government. One read, “Don’t touch our neighborhood, our squares, our trees, our water, our soil, our homes, our villages, our cities and our parks.”

source: http://www.nytimes.com


So this is what's happening in my town.
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jun 5 2013, 05:42 PM
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I saw this on the other thread and put my opinion there. I'm so sorry of knowing this mate... sad.gif


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Slavenko Erazer
post Jun 5 2013, 05:43 PM
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At least they got nice little cold shower ...must have been hot there.. huh.gif
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Mertay
post Jun 5 2013, 09:01 PM
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I hasitated to write about this cause didn't see much political topics here, it's so cool mod.s didn't mind this topic.

Such protest happens very rare in history, specially in an Islamic country. Probably last happened in Iran before 1979 but they couldn't win and look at them now (was like a european country back then) sad.gif

Any type of support really boosts our motivation here;



This post has been edited by Mertay: Jun 5 2013, 09:02 PM


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Mertay
post Jun 6 2013, 03:04 AM
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Turkey


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jstcrsn
post Jun 6 2013, 03:15 AM
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QUOTE (Mertay @ Jun 5 2013, 09:01 PM) *
I hasitated to write about this cause didn't see much political topics here, it's so cool mod.s didn't mind this topic.

/484759_468493766561509_593402794_n.jpg[/img]

this is the chill out room , any subject is fair game, and as far as I am concerned , there is not enough political discussion , to many people want to bury their head in the sand and hope everything will workout wonderfully, but all burying your head in the sand does , is create a monarchy

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kklee100
post Jun 6 2013, 05:29 AM
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I feel sorry for those people hurt in Istanbul Park.

This topic reminds me of Tiananmen Square protests of June 4th, 1989 in Beijing, China.
China's troop killed many people without weapon, most of them are students.
Their government said there are no people died there. ( so ridiculous...)
And they block any keywords on the web, including "6 4, Tiananmen Square" and even "today" on every June 4th.
I feel sick and angry of such country.

I remember Martin Niemoller, a German anti-Nazi pastor's statement:
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Mertay
post Jun 6 2013, 03:02 PM
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Thanks guys smile.gif Here is a photo album I like, it gets updated regularly;

http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

Also a letter from Roger Waters;

To all my friends in Turkey

Sorry for my mistake but its ISTANBUL not Constantinople.

Roger Waters


I am with you! We are with you! You are so right to resist the forces of autocracy and repression. It doesn't matter who they are.

If I read the Internet right, in your case, you are resisting autocratic religious zealots.

Turkey is your country and we support you and yearn for your freedom, but also, you and your struggle are so important to the rest of the world.

Every time a man or woman or child takes to the streets, and stands up for human rights, for self determination, for democracy, for Mistress Liberty, the rest of the world is in debt.

We are not physically with you in the water cannon's fire, in the tear gas clouds, but we are with you in spirit.
We applaud your stand for we know it is not easy.

Your great country stands at the gateway between east and west. ISTANBUL is legend in the history of civilization. Your resistance today may well be a turning point between all of us and a return to the dark ages.

THERE IS NOTHING MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT YOU ARE DOING TODAY:

With love, and tears, and huge respect,
Roger Waters.


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Mertay
post Jun 11 2013, 06:34 PM
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Copy-pasting;

The government in collaboration with the police and the media staged a theater play (with terrible actors) at Taksim square early this morning. After announcing that there will be no attacks on the people at Gezi park and Taksim, hundreds of policemen came to collect the banners, at the same time chocking people with tear gas.

The media, who has ignored the protests so far was there from the beginning, broadcasting (from extremely good shooting points) a play between hundreds of cops and about 30 people who are posing as "protesters" (still a mystery who they were) who were throwing Molotov cocktails at the police at the square. This act went on for more than an hour. The police, who is capable of breaking up thousand of people (without provocation) within minutes with tear gas and water cannons, only circled around them, gently spraying a little water.

In the mean time, on the back streets and around Gezi park, where the media was not broadcasting, the attacks were brutal as usual. The protests until this morning have been peaceful and it is not clear whether these people were extremists from some political groups or some agent provocateurs? What is clear is that they do not reflect the spirit of this uprising. Couple of hours ago, police raided the biggest court house in Istanbul and arrested around 70 lawyers, who were only protesting against the morning attacks, probably as a response to their help with protecting the rights of the people arrested and injured during last weeks protests.

In response to today's events, people of Istanbul are going back to Taksim square this evening at 19:00 possibly with larger numbers than the protests on May 31. Please share this information by copying and pasting. The Turkish media has failed miserably and it is very important that the world knows what is really going on in Turkey.


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Mertay
post Jun 11 2013, 08:04 PM
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44 of those 70 lawyers (who were arrested in Turkey's biggest courthouse) were hospitalized. Right now its like day one, tear gas and fire all over the place.



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Mertay
post Jun 11 2013, 09:48 PM
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Cripple being water cannoned sad.gif



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Todd Simpson
post Jun 12 2013, 12:26 AM
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I"ve been watching this on the news and I'd like to say I fully support any group of people willing to stand up and make their claim to fair and just treatment by their own government. That sentence is almost laughable "fair treatment by govt." but it will only cease to be funny when enough people are willing to risk everything to take back what is their birthright; freedom.

The situation in Turkey is a classic clash of those supporting restrictive governance vs the will of people who support a govt that lets the people decide personal issues (eg whether or not to wear or not wear certain clothes/burkha/etc.) The country is on the precipice between moving towards a progressive society and moving towards a more oppressive society. I hope the protestors can hold out and keep up the good fight.

Social Media is a powerful and it's good to see them using it. smile.gif

Todd

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Mertay
post Jun 12 2013, 07:12 PM
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Thanks for the support smile.gif

By the way, I watched the events last night on cnn live and must comment they were very objective of whats going on. Objectivity is whats almost all tv channels here suffer from at the moment, the ones (only 1-2) that aren't have very limited resources (Halk tv is good but it has only 24 employees).

Seems the next following days won't be easy either. Rumor is in 24 hours erdogan ordered the gezi park to be evacuated...also probably on saturday he's organizing a big public speech for the so called "50%" people who supports him.

People here started to think no one is that crazy smile.gif so he might be trying to gain votes by using fear (to uneducated/clueless people) as an election will happen in 7 months. Thats why he's becoming more brutal as time passes.


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Mertay
post Jun 13 2013, 12:15 AM
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short clip of a piano recital in taksim square (which is only a few meters from gezi park)...and the goverment still calls these people violant...

gezipiano



This post has been edited by Mertay: Jun 13 2013, 12:17 AM


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dcz702
post Jun 13 2013, 03:17 AM
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QUOTE (kklee100 @ Jun 6 2013, 04:29 AM) *
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Mertay
post Jun 13 2013, 11:01 PM
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Joan Baez's message to Turkish People...

World-renowned American musician, folk singer and activist Joan Baez sent out a message to Turkey during her concert to an audience of thousands in Fairfax, Virginia last night.
The concert had started with the performance of Indigo Girls, with the attendance of an enthusiastic group of thousands of people from all ages.

Joan Baez, who had during the day stated, from her facebook account, her intention to support the People’s resistance in Turkey, read out her personal message and dedicated the folk song “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, that was originally an Indian hymn, to the Turkish People.

Her message was:

“Dear Turkish People,
I would like to express my support for the Turkish citizens, lawyers, doctors, youngsters families, students, the people with belief in their heart, who are fighting courageously and peacefully to preserve the heart of your culture, the beauty of your land, and the soul of your people.
Your voice has been heard everywhere, and I am greeting you now.”

Baez, her message having received a vigorous response from the audience, then went on to sing her song:

(lyrics)
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, sweet chariot.
Coming for to carry me home.

Well if you get there before I do,
Coming for to carry me home.
Tell all my friends, I’m coming too,
Coming for to carry me home.

And I looked over yonder and what did I see,
Coming for to carry me home?
So a band, a band of angels, it was coming for me,
Coming to carry me home.

Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.
Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.

Swing low, swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me, you, us, them home


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Mertay
post Jun 15 2013, 07:16 PM
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updates in short;

-Erdogan proposed a meeting with the protesters and it ended last night; he agreed to follow the court order (A court suspended any building at gezipark until resolved) and wait till its finalized. If the court agree's that a building can be made theere, there will be a voting process following that if the people of İstanbul actually wants anything built there.

At first this might sound good but its actually funny that he "agreed" to wait the court order smile.gif this really speaks for itself as how he see's democracy, so end result is (only for the tree's in gezipark) after all the blood is spilled what will happen is what should have happened...

This of course didn't satisfy anyone as you guys know this wasn't just about the tree's anymore...

-He made a public speech in Ankara to his voters today and will again in İstanbul tomorrow; He accused the protesters many things including that they drunk beer in a famous mosque in Beşiktaş!

I'm sharing a video of the events in the mosque, it headline translates "entertainment, group sex images (+18) but there is ofcourse no sex in the video smile.gif there is some blood though so don't let your kids watch this!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151633524003194

-He ordered everyone to evacuate Gezipark, police said they won't feel responcible for what will happen next.

We are expecting another attack at gezipark soon...

Also friends in Brazil; Never leave home without protection like helmet and gasmask! always stay together even at the worst moments, don't go home alone, don't carry any sort of material that can be considered a weapon and if someone next to you seems dangerous while protesting stay away from him.

edit;Right now gezi is under attack.

This post has been edited by Mertay: Jun 15 2013, 07:16 PM


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AK Rich
post Jun 15 2013, 09:02 PM
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Stay safe Mertay. I hope these matters can be resolved without more bloodshed.
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Mertay
post Jun 15 2013, 10:25 PM
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QUOTE (AK Rich @ Jun 15 2013, 08:02 PM) *
Stay safe Mertay. I hope these matters can be resolved without more bloodshed.


Thanks, I'll be staying at home today but probably not tomorrow.

Right now I read people are requesting things to put on cause the water cannons are spraying chemical added water, emergency doktors takes them off emediatly cause it burns the skin painfully.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=182...e=1&theater

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Mertay
post Jun 18 2013, 12:03 AM
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Fast update; That night even the goverment confessed at least a million people wanted to reach gezipark, we estimate millons;



But they couldn't because most were unprepared, people siply went outside their homes the moment they heard the attack. Police again was brutal and even the army got involved though briefly.

The following day was expected to be a peak...it started during daytime but police arrested anyone they saw holding a flag, wearing a gasmask etc. . Later as police was using teargas, the followers of the ruling party started attacking protesters in the streets with knifes and similar anchient weapons. Police escort and protected these people;



There was no point in such brutality so protesters when home, none of there people are armed...today something new started, someone when to the taksim square and just stood there, other started to follow;





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