Saturday, June 15, 2013

What can you do?

Stay Informed, Spread the news, Raise awareness

Online petitions about Gezi Park uprising are closed. Thank you for your support.

Stay Informed:
Amnesty International - Human rights in Turkey
Uptodate info from protests in Turkey

What happened in Turkey in 2013?

Learn from Wikipedia.

In short: A peaceful protest to protect the last public park in Istanbul's center from being a shopping mall, turned into a big nation-wide demonstration upon unbalanced use of force (gas bombs, water cannons, beating) by police, leaving many severely injured, some killed. The prime minister, who's been governing the country as almost a dictator, ignores the public opinion, does not take action, and threatens the demonstrators. Worse, police violence and demonstrations in over 40 cities didn't take place in Turkish TVs, for first 3 days of the demonstrations which apparently have fear of the government, as many anti-government journalists are in prison, since the judiciary has been taken over by pro-government officials.
Brutality in numbers: 11 dead, more than 8000 got injured.
(Update July 2014 - 17 dead)

Media Censorship and Police Terror.
Istanbul Rising
Occupy Taksim
Never forget this scream.
Overall look by TV news.
Resist Gezi, with love.
Turkish Airlines workers who are on strike support Gezi Park.
HaberTurk protest.
Police Attack Union Strikes in Ankara
Children of Love @ Gezi Park.
United people of Gezi Park.
I saw.
Meet the protesters.
Do you hear the people sing?

Written materials:
Digital collection of Gezi Park articles (Chronological order:).

Resistence in Gezi Park day by day.
Turkish state violence evident with pictures.

Videos - Chronological order:
June 29 - Istanbul. Protest goes on.
June 22 - Taksim, Istanbul. Police attack.
June 15 - Taksim, Istanbul. German News (with English subtitles)
June 15 - Hilton Hotel, Istanbul. Police - in the hotel!!!
June 15- Istanbul. Protester is shot by plastic bullet.
June 13 - Ankara. Police attack.
June 12- Ankara. Streets.
June 12  - Taksim, Istanbul. Singing together. :)
June 12 - Taksim, Istanbul. Imagine. :)
June 11 - Taksim, Istanbul. Tear Gas.
June 11 - Taksim, Istanbul. It's like a war.
June 10 - Ankara. Street protests.
June 9 - Ankara. Without the police.
June 9 - Ankara. Streets.
June 8 - Ankara. Before police attack.
June 8 - Ankara. Streets.
June 8 - Guvenpark, Ankara.
June 7 - Dikmen, Ankara. Marching.
June 6 - Ankara. Ciao Bella
June 5 - Antakya, Hatay. Streets, shots, fire.
June 5 - Istanbul. Peaceful protesters sing in Gezi Park.
June 5 - Ankara. Streets.
June 5 - Ankara. Police use plastic bullets.
June 5 - Istanbul. Protest in Judicial Court of Turkey by court officials.
June 5 - Ankara. Streets.
June 5 - Kizilay, Ankara. TV channel showed the police attack online, by chance!
June 5 - Adana. Attacking a local TV channel cameraman with plastic bullet.
June 4 - Dolmabahce, Istanbul. 15 policemen tries to arrest one protester, who I couldn't even see!
June 4 - Gazi District, Istanbul. Streets.
June 4 - Adana. Police shot pepper gas for nonsense.
June 4 - Fethiye, Mugla. Fethiye support to Gezi Park! :)
June 4 - Hatay. Panic at streets because of police shots.
June 4 - Istanbul. No gas without Jazz! :)
June 4 - Taksim, Istanbul. A real "game-play".
June 4 - Istanbul. Police shoot a pepper gas to a woman while she's screaming that she's ill.
June 4 - Istanbul. Police shoots pepper gas into houses.
June 4 - Taksim, Istanbul. Woman clear the slangy slogans from walls. :)
June 3 - Kizilay, Ankara. Police was shooting pepper gas while there were no protesters around!
June 3 - Alsancak, Izmir. Police attacks the man who records them by camera.
June 3 - Ankara. Police attack.
June 3 - Ankara. People protesting police attack using pots and spoons!
June 3 - Istanbul.
June 2 - Dolmabahce, Istanbul. Dolmabahce mosque became a first aid point.
June 1 - Dolmabahce, Istanbul. Streets.
June 1 - Taksim, Istanbul. Streets.
May 31-Taksim, Istanbul. Protesters share their food with the police and are awarded with tear gas.
May 31 - Taksim, Istanbul. Streets.

For more; with daily news: Resist Taksim

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Never lose the sense of humor, especially under crackdown!

People of Turkey have a great sense of humor.

Everyday I'm Chapulling! The word 'chapulling' was born in June 2013, when PM Erdogan called Gezi Park protesters as 'Çapulcu' (marauder). Come chapul with us!
25 examples of street humor from Istanbul protest.
Keep calm.
More about chapulling.
Even being a police is fun sometimes.
Penguin documentary with protesting voices.
Penguins resist with us.
36 surreal and defiant photos from Istanbul.
Syria vs Turkey
Erdogan is falling down falling down falling down.
Wanna play again?
Several JOBS available.
Watching the news.
NMA world edition video about Erdogan. from Taiwan
What PM Erdogan said about the people protesting from their houses making their voice out using pots and pans is: "Pots and pans, the old same tune."
We don't need no gas bombs.
RHCT and many more here Diren Gezi Parki
All chapuling songs

There are many more but unfortunately most of them are, of course, in Turkish. Still, you will enjoy to watch this video in which English teacher resister introduces the new verb "to chappul".

Who were those protesters? What did they want?

At the very beginning, Gezi Park protesters were less than a hundred, but the number reached thousands in a couple of hours when Gezi Park protesters were attacked by police. A quick survey ran online in June 2013 by Sociology students of Istanbul Bilgi University showed that protesters define themselves 'supporters of freedom who are mad at Erdogan'.

Researchers reported that %39.6 of the protesters were aged between 19-25; %24 between 26-30. %53.7 was never involved a street protest before.

%70 didn't define as belonged to any political party, %14.7 was hesitant about it, only %15.3 felt belonged. Clearly, as opposed to claims of Erdogan; no political party ran the protest.
%81.2 called her/himself as 'freedom supporter' (liberal), %64.5 as secular.

Why did they protest?

Authoritarian attitude of PM Erdogan %92.4
Excessive police force against protesters %91.3
The invasion of democratic rights %91.1
Silence of Turkish media %84.2
Demolish of the trees %56.2
Involved because of the supported political party %7.7

What they want?
Stop police violence %96.7 
Respect the freedom %96.1 
Asking for a new political party %37.0 
Wants the military take the control %6.6
Military control? No, thanks! %79.5

What Did They Want?

Get to know about Erdogan and his ruling party AKP

How did PM RTE make people so angry?
(The first 10 are from here.)

1) The constitutional amendment they are trying to pass moving Turkey to a US based Presidential system - This will give AKP another 10 years of electability. Convenient timing as under the current regime Erdoğan won't be eligible for PM in next elections.

2) Restriction on alcohol use. It started as a bill for a full ban but under public pressure was passed as "restrictions" (Bans the sell of it between 10 pm and 6 am). Oh and did you know our national drink is now Ayran? (Watered down yogurt) instead of Raki (anice based liquor widely popular in Turkey). Yup cause Erdogan said so. Because 1.5 litres per capita a year, the Turkish youth clearly needs to be put in AA.

3) Turkish Airlines ban on red lipstick for hostesses.

4) Did you know that our PM decides how many kids we should have? The magic number is three. Because clearly there is not enough orphans in the world.

5) Subway authorities making announcements regarding "moral rules"

6) Interfering with the freedom of Turkish Press. We have more journalists in jail than Iran.

7) Imprisonment of the Turkish thought leaders with the "Ergenekon" Operation which accuses them of conspiracy against government. We are never told what specific evidence the government has against these people.

8) Building shopping malls and mosques in historical public spaces, changing the landscape without asking the public.

9) For wanting to name the new Bosphorus bridge after a Sultan that the Alevi minority regard as a mass murderer. Think calling Berlin wall the Hitler wall. This is also example of insensitivity to public opinion.

10) On top of all of this our PM calls his own people drunks, marginals, the others, the mob who should be hanged. What we see is our freedoms eroding under this government.

11) Restraint on the mainstream media. At the first 3 days of Gezi Park protest in Turkey, not even a single tv channel showed what was happening. Can you believe that CNNTurk was showing a penguin documentary (while CNNInternational was actually doing its job)?

12) Social media is the only way to reach information in Turkey. Erdoğan sees it as: "The biggest trouble of societies."  Police raided into private houses and arrested 24 people who were tweeting and helped spread the word (June 4th, 2013). (Update: Turkish government blocked access to Twitter in March-April 2014 for 2 weeks.)

13) Ruling party AKP has no respect for neither historical values, nor its citizens. So called 'urban transformation' projects demolished historical places to turn them into residences and shopping malls. People who were living in those districts were sent to suburbs of Istanbul where they were socially isolated. Two examples of those projects: Sulukule, Tarlabasi.

14) Reyhanlı. Not more than one month before Gezi Park uprising; Hatay was bombed (a city at south Turkey). 51 people died, more than 400 got injured. Media, again, showed nothing about it for a long time. The attack was a result of RTE's aggressive and war-calling attitude towards Syria.

15) May the 1st. Citizens if Istanbul encountered the excessive usage of pepper gas at May 1st, at the "Workers celebration". RTE, as another restriction of freedom of expression, banned the usage of Taksim square for the gathering. You were able to sniff the gas from your own house.

... and so on.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

What is this blog for?

The idea of making this page started with the question "What can I do for Turkey?" (as a Turkish citizen in US) and spread itself to a notion to make people aware about what's happening in Turkey, why and how it started, what are the recent and underlying causes of it, who are those protesters and what are they asking for, and so on. More importantly, of course the main aim is to inform you about what can you do for Turkey!

Me: Itır Kaşıkçı (29). Received Sociology & Psychology undergrad and Neuroscience grad education (MSc) in Istanbul. Currently working as a visiting researcher in Stanford Univ.