Istanbul Taksim Gezi Park is not about trees

 Istanbul Taksim Gezi Park #occupygezi
Istanbul Taksim Gezi Park #occupygezi

Istanbul's central area of Taksim is currently the scene of a fledging 'occupy movement' as people react to this morning's 5am teargassing of protestors opposed to unchecked gentrification in the historic city.

Submitted by Jacques Roux on May 30, 2013

These are some cursory notes on whats been unfolding in Istanbul's central square Taksim and the small green area within in - Gezi Park, as of Friday 31 May there is still little English language coverage, the best place to look is #occupygezi or in Turkish #direngeziparkı which is trending worldwide.

Searching for English language news or analysis of whats currently taking place in central Istanbul is not particularly fruitful, most likely the first thing you will come across is this Tweet from the Reuters news agency:

Along with a lot of information in Turkish there are quite a few Tweets pointing at the environmental nature of the protest with tree-saving and maintaing green space in an over urbanised city as the key issues. This is only the tip of the iceberg.

The recent wave of violence released by Turkish police under the rule of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's AKP (Justice and Development Party) government including this morning's tear gassing of protestors is in fact a growing trend which many are worried as seeing Turkey slipping further and further into authoritarian rule. Since the annual May 1st demonstrations violence used against protestors has intensified in Istanbul as people have taken to the streets to decry the worrying trends they see developing in their country. This is reflected around the country with attacks on university students in Ankara coupled with a rapidly destabilising situation in the South East as the Turkish border areas are dragged into the Syrian conflict.

Back in Istanbul years of rapid neo-liberal gentrification under the guise of urban improvement has seen swathes of the city transformed. Most recently the go ahead was given for the third Istanbul bridge which is due to see the city transform into an enormous monster spreading up towards the black sea. Many commentators see this as the death knell for Istanbul. In the city centre the central working class neighbourhood of Tarlabasi is currently being decimated while projects such as Galataport and the redevelopment of the Kadikoy train station see historical parts of the city flattened and redevelopment as global investment opporutinites leading to soaring prices and the replacing of large parts of the city with shopping malls and luxury apartments.

In Taksim square, Gezi park (hardly a park by European standards but more a huge traffic island made of of concrete with several hundred trees sitting in its midst) sees itself as the latest victim of a government which deploys heritage as an argument for redevelopment as it drags from the dust the idea of an Ottoman Army Barracks which suddenly must be developed as a shopping mall, replacing one of the last remaining open spaces a city which is already struggling to breathe from congestion, traffic and over development. Scene of protests for the last few days this morning saw police attempt to clear protestors with swathes of tear gas, hospitalising some with an attack which started at 5am while many were sleeping in a makeshift camp. Protestors belongings and tents were burned and newly planted trees uprooted. At 8am this seemed to cease as opposition politicians seeking to make political capital declared opposition to the ongoing destruction and arrived among the bulldozers.

Meanwhile a gathering has been called Thursday night in Taksim square at 19:00.

This is a super rushed account of what's happening and doesn't take into account many of the factors which play into this complex story, hopefully by tomorrow some more English language accounts will be coming out of the city with better analysis.

As of Friday 31 May I am trying to update the story with links below.

Title image credit @ekizilkaya.

Comments

Jacques Roux

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on May 31, 2013

The picture today seems much the same, campers awoken by teargas at 5am before repeated eviction attempts with numbers swelling this morning, keep an eye on #direngeziparkı and #occupygezi.

CNN has a report from yesterday: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/05/30/world/meast/istanbul-protests/index.html

Istanbul based paper on over construction making the city uninhabitable http://www.todayszaman.com/news-316968-istanbul-becoming-uninhabitable-with-mega-construction-projects.html#.UaglgUia84s.facebook

Jacques Roux

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on May 31, 2013

Reuters is now reporting this story with much more background and as a protest angled at the AKP government: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/31/uk-turkey-protests-idUKBRE94U0JA20130531

Twitter reports coming in as of Friday afternoon that Turkish Police have killed a man in the square after he was hit with a tear gas canister and suffered from a heart attack.

Interestingly nothing I have seen online so far seems to suggest that anyone is particularly fighting back or resisting the police in any way, certainly not organised.

Jacques Roux

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on May 31, 2013

Rabble has an in-depth report up here:

Students Sencer and Kemal are members of the Turkish Communist Party. They talk about how the municipality has tried to sell the project. “They say it will help the area and drive traffic underground. They also talk about how the new mall will be in the shape of a historic barracks that was once there.”

It is also said that there are plans for the construction of a new mosque, which would brazen in its to appeal to the voters of a party that has built itself on coupling conservative social policies with liberal economics. In those terms then, the struggle over Gezi park is a microcosm of a much broader battle; it is about keeping trees in the city but its roots are much deeper.

Taksim Square is one of Istanbul’s few public spaces, and the heartbeat of its anti-establishment politics. In 1977, amidst the hostility of the Cold War, right-wing militias opened fire on a May Day demonstration and killed thirty-six protestors. Ever since it has been home to mass mobilisations and confrontations.

Joseph Kay

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on May 31, 2013

A statement (in English) apparently from protesters: https://twitter.com/KeremBrulee/status/340465148621885440/photo/1

Jacques Roux

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on May 31, 2013

Good context in the Guardian now: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/31/istanbul-park-protests-turkish-spring?CMP=twt_gu

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on May 31, 2013

Solidarity encampments have now gone up at least two other major cities (Ankara and Izmir). Trying to get English language reports backs for libcom tomorrow...

Skati

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Skati on May 31, 2013

There is conflict in Ankara as well. About 3.000 protester pushing the barricades.

wojtek

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on June 1, 2013

I'm trying to follow twitter...the Besiktas football ultra group Çarşı came to protect those resisting at Taksim Park, seizing a police TOMA vehicle and police radios in the process (here's them arriving)
Galatasary and Fenerbache fans also uniting and helping out.

Apparently 400 people were detained and ultrAslan (Galatasary fans) saved them. The latter were/are? currently trapped in some sort of tunnel (photographs and here they are earlier on in the day]). Solidarity from Manual Fernandes and a Fen. player whose name I've forgotten.
edit: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BLoo4TjCAAAEGD1.jpg:large

Joseph Kay

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 1, 2013

This is apparently a government building on fire (I assume in Istanbul?). There's also some great photos doing the rounds of thousands of people streaming across one of the (non pedestrian) Bosphorus bridges. Seems to be escalating.

Devrim

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on June 1, 2013

It does seem to be escalating and spreading quite a lot. I have seen reports of demonstrations in Ankara, Izmir, Zonguldak, Konya, and Izmit. There has been a court decision to delay the building work in Istanbul, but it doesn't seem to have any effect in quieting things down.

Devrim

Devrim

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on June 1, 2013

And Eskisehir, Antalya, Kutahya, Kayseri, Afyonkarahisar, Manisa, Nazilli, and Marmaris.

http://m.radikal.com.tr/iphone/NewsDetail.aspx?ArticleID=160391&CategoryIDs=1

Devrim

Joseph Kay

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 1, 2013


Thousands crossing the Bosphorus


Empty tear gas canisters

Skati

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Skati on June 1, 2013

Resistance continues. Sadly it's not revolutionary enough. But it's something.

http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

Jenre

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jenre on June 1, 2013

Apparently those bridge photos are from a marathon in 2010 unfortunately

Joseph Kay

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Joseph Kay on June 1, 2013

ah ok, will edit (though no results on tineye)

Jenre

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jenre on June 1, 2013

Those pictures are on a few sites though, and the people don't exactly look dressed for a marathon.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

All of my friends i Turkey reported that they have never seen something like that. Popular support to the demos are unbounded. The clashes have continued all day in major towns yesterday and growing.

Steven.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 1, 2013

mikail firtinaci

All of my friends i Turkey reported that they have never seen something like that. Popular support to the demos are unbounded. The clashes have continued all day in major towns yesterday and growing.

could you please keep us updated with developments? And encourage other people in Turkey to post here letting us know?

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

Police have retreated from the Taksim square. This is a huge moral victory. Since 1980 military coup police have never retreated.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

some pictures of today and yesterday:

http://occupygezipics.tumblr.com/

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

Istanbul stray dogs fighting against the police in the spirit of their Athenian comrades:

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

women were always at the forefront:

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

According to some rumors facebook and twitter is blocked. The turkish media is completely silent. The clashes are still going on in Ankara and other major and minor towns.

EDIT: It is almost certain that twitter and facebook is blocked.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

Livestream with english commentary:

http://m.ustream.tv/channel/pinarogun?utm_campaign=t.co&utm_source=14571749&utm_medium=social

Livestream from the Taksim square:

http://www.halkhaber.tv/

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

earlier today a spontaneous gathering of people marched from the Ataturk bridge (connecting asian and european sides of istanbul)

https://twitter.com/refikabirgul/status/340776196960829440/photo/1

A picture from Ankara where clashes are still going on

https://twitter.com/EliifAntaal/status/340787173680902144/photo/1

A tired demonstrator resting after the night long battle and the victory in Istanbul:

https://twitter.com/irfanaktan/status/340839581354180608/photo/1/large

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 1, 2013

The BBC are saying this

Correspondents say that what was initially a local issue has spiralled into widespread anti-government unrest and anger over the perceived "Islamisation" of Turkey.

One woman told Agence France-Presse: "They want to turn this country into an Islamist state, they want to impose their vision all the while pretending to respect democracy."

Can someone clarify how much/little this is reflective of the popular anger, because now the tree fib has been debunked by the spread of the demonstrations, this seems to be a developing narrative in the regular press...

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

Can someone clarify how much/little this is reflective of the popular anger, because now the tree fib has been debunked by the spread of the demonstrations, this seems to be a developing narrative in the regular press..

I think this is partially correct. It is right that anti-AKP feelings is a huge factor uniting the protestors. However the demos are not simply about "anti-islamism". It is not a coincidence that everything started with this park issue. Ruling parties grand infrastructure and construction policies changed the economic and social face of turkey. You can see major construction and renovation projects in every part of the country. These includes huge investments on new suburbs, highways, energy stations etc. And this process has created AKP's new wealthy elite. In almost 11 years since the AKP came to power, a new conservative fraction inside the capitalist class has dramatically emerged and enlarged. The most visible effect of this was on the cities. Older buildings, even whole districts in city centers where poorer people live have been gentrified. And the hatred towards AKP exploded in this situation.

This reclaiming of the city center was a huge issue for in recent years since every 1st of May leftists and workers were trying to demonstrate on the Taksim square (a central historical and cultural square in Istanbul). However, Taksim square was also significant for AKP since it was here that they implemented their most symbolic and radical construction policies by raising whole buildings, closing the parts of the square to public etc. And every year there were significant clashes on the 1st of Mays -including this year.

However, this spontaneous explosion was totally unexpected. Conventional intellectualist mentality in Turkey assumes that average turkish worker and youth is totally nihilistic, unresponsive to politics at best if not conservative. But AKP has changed the the relations between the state and workers dramatically in its decade long rule. It stripped the state all its remaining "neutral" image. More importantly it crushed heavily all the intermediary political groups (like social democrat-Kemalists) and unions rejecting any negotiation. In fact AKP paradoxically constructed a huge authoritarian system of police oppression and censure trusting its popular electoral successes. This erosion of "civil society" intermediary groups created a perfect basis for such a spontaneous and unexpected rising.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

Some frıends told that there are at least two demonstrators killed. But since there is a complete media black out no news is reported on that.

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 1, 2013

This is confirmed - http://www.liveleak.com/c/Turkey_Protests_2013 has video evidence of the deaths of two demonstrators - one a man ran over by an armoured police vehicle, and two a man killed by a water cannon at extremely close range.

I really don't advise watching the videos unless you want to upset yourself, but it is important to keep a record of these things. Also there is evidence of many acts of police brutality such as beatings of demonstrators they have caught, and people being injured by being shot in the head by tear gas canisters.

rooieravotr

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on June 1, 2013

A somehwat sceptical view, calling the thing an "upper class revolt": http://muftah.org/why-the-gezi-park-protests-do-not-herald-a-turkish-spring-yet/

The youth demonstrating in Gezi Park and in solidarity protests in secular bastions across Turkey hail from several groups opposing Erdogan. Nevertheless, young people from the country’s mainly upper-class, secular ‘white Turk’ social strata are the key driving force.

In this sense, these demonstrations represent one of the last convulsions of the old ‘secular’ elites, who have been waging, and losing, a bitter battle against the rising Anatolian nouveau-riche that make up Erdogan’s AKP.

The fact that protesters did not remove representatives from the main opposition party, CHP, who were present at yesterday’s Gezi Park demonstration is telling

I am not convinced, but I wonder what people, especially those with more knowledge of Turkish context and background think.

bastarx

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on June 1, 2013

rooieravotr

A somehwat sceptical view, calling the thing an "upper class revolt": http://muftah.org/why-the-gezi-park-protests-do-not-herald-a-turkish-spring-yet/

The youth demonstrating in Gezi Park and in solidarity protests in secular bastions across Turkey hail from several groups opposing Erdogan. Nevertheless, young people from the country’s mainly upper-class, secular ‘white Turk’ social strata are the key driving force.

In this sense, these demonstrations represent one of the last convulsions of the old ‘secular’ elites, who have been waging, and losing, a bitter battle against the rising Anatolian nouveau-riche that make up Erdogan’s AKP.

The fact that protesters did not remove representatives from the main opposition party, CHP, who were present at yesterday’s Gezi Park demonstration is telling

I am not convinced, but I wonder what people, especially those with more knowledge of Turkish context and background think.

Without knowing much about Turkey it is very rare for "upper class revolts" to take the form of rioting.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 1, 2013

It is completely wrong to call this a middle class "white turk" revolt.

I could have only seen the first day of the protests -before the police attack-. There were only a few dozen people and most of them were students, professionals and middle class people then. The political spectrum was leftist. Even though it was obvious from the scene that there was a police crackdown to be expected I assumed naively that would be the end of it. The following resistance was probably unexpected for everyone including both the government and and the leftists. Especially on Friday and Saturday workers from the slums surrounding Istanbul poured into the center. That is indisputable. What is more interesting is that those workers from many political and ethnic backgrounds have fought together. Kemalist (Turks) fought together with the Kurdish people. Nationalist grey wolfes were trowing stones to the police together with the radical leftists.

In one sense this is a cross class revolt. Traditionally conservative small shop owners were helping the demonstrators. Professionals and football fans were fighting together. There were famous artists, singers, comedians supporting and even joining in but the majority on the front line was probably workers, unemployed, housewives and high school students.

Maloney

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Maloney on June 2, 2013

In this 45 minute interview Sevinc who recently migrated from Turkey to Ireland provides context on the Gezi park struggle and the police repression from recent regional and left politics. Touches on the Turkish left & anarchist movement, LGBT & Kurdish struggles, the role of the Ultras, army & Police

Turkish anarchist on background to Gezi Park struggle in Istanbul - explanation for the left by Workers Solidarity on Mixcloud

http://www.wsm.ie/c/turkish-anarchist-gezi-istanbul-explanation

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 2, 2013

an amazing video from tonight showing a spontaneous moment of mass uprising:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKv601khylM&feature=youtu.be

Live coverage from the square:

http://rt.com/on-air/turkey-protest-istanbul-park/

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 2, 2013

Police are now using a stronger chemical projectiles similar to those that the greek police have started using, stronger than tear or pepper gas.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ec7_1370131192

(i believe 'Agent Orange' as mentioned on the vid must be the wrong name name for it, thought that stuff is super illegal for causing birth defects when used by the US in the Vietnam war.)

madashell

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by madashell on June 2, 2013

Agent Orange wouldn't make much sense, it's a defoliant, not a crowd control weapon, used in Vietnam to clear forests to increase American air force's tactical edge (with horrific consequences and a total disregard for human life, of course). Also really toxic from what I understand, seems like a hell of a jump from tear gas to a highly poisonous chemical weapon.

Not saying they couldn't be using something much stronger than usual but Agent Orange would be a very strange choice for a police force trying to quell urban unrest.

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 2, 2013

Not saying they couldn't be using something much stronger than usual but Agent Orange would be a very strange choice for a police force trying to quell urban unrest.

It is probably a false rumor. However it is certain that police is using outdated tear gas canisters.

Here is an amazing scene where people are beating up the police and appropriating their shields:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0iKVj7rgbTQ

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 2, 2013

Does anyone know how this is playing out in the Kurdish parts of the country or within Kurdish groups and parties?

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 2, 2013

Does anyone know how this is playing out in the Kurdish parts of the country or within Kurdish groups and parties?

There were definitely Kurds fighting on the streets. In some streets people shouting Kurdish nationalist slogans fought together with people carrying the Turkish flags. There were demos in Kurdish or minority Kurdish towns (Van, Mersin, Antakya, etc), not to mention the fact that Istanbul is also the biggest Kurdish population town in Turkey...

However, in my opinion BDP (the Kurdish national party) have totally collapsed in the face of the revolt. Some leaders of the party rejected to be identified with the revolt, however one MP (Sirri Sureyya Onder) was in the Square from the beginning of the events. So they missed their chance to join officially while the Kurdish masses were revolting on the streets. And at the same time they could not withdraw the Kurdish people from the streets.

As a matter of fact this political impotence is not limited to Kurdish nationalism. Turkish nationalist parties have also been caught by surprise. MHP (the fascist turkish party) could neither support nor criticize the movement or the government. However, my friends told that they saw many people wearing three crescent (a symbol of turkish fascism) scarfs on the streets. Among the mainstream bourgeois parties only CHP (the Kemalist party) acted cleverly in my opinion. They neither claimed the movement for themselves nor hesitated to join it. The leader of the CHP was in Taksim yesterday.

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 2, 2013

madashell

Agent Orange wouldn't make much sense, it's a defoliant, not a crowd control weapon, used in Vietnam to clear forests to increase American air force's tactical edge (with horrific consequences and a total disregard for human life, of course). Also really toxic from what I understand, seems like a hell of a jump from tear gas to a highly poisonous chemical weapon.

Not saying they couldn't be using something much stronger than usual but Agent Orange would be a very strange choice for a police force trying to quell urban unrest.

That was my understanding, i seem to remember reading that in Greece the different chemical was nicknamed 'Agent Orange' by protesters because the smoke is slightly orange.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 2, 2013

some interesting points in http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article28813 (I think, the author is from the IS tradition), there was a number of strikes planned for early june

Another strike is waiting in the wings, one with potentially devastating consequences for the government. This is the metal workers’ strike which has already been announced (a legal precondition), but not yet put into practice. If all the workers involved go on strike (for legal reasons this has to be some time in the course of June), this will amount to over one hundred thousand workers, in a sector that has become the main export engine of the country’s manufacturing industry in recent years. Although there are immensely complicated factors to be taken into account when analysing this potential strike, not least the clearly reactionary political stance of the ruling bureaucracy in the major union in the industry, the results may be dire in the context of this explosive situation.

History seems to be aiding the popular masses of Turkey. KESK, the Federation of Public Employees’ Unions, one of the fighting organizations within the union movement, had already declared a sector-wide strike for 5 June. This needs to be transformed into a general strike, adopted by the whole union movement, putting forth demands in the political sphere as well as voicing the considerable grievances of the workers of different sectors and industries. The present moment witnesses a people’s revolt in the face of the arrogance and repressive practice of the government. Should this be combined with an insurgent working-class movement, Turkey would become open to all kinds of revolutionary change.

more stuff about strikes on http://en.uidder.org/ (I think they are former Maoists who maintain cordial relations with AWL, Lutte Ouvriere and some Iranian groups)

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 2, 2013

Jesus Christ. Full solidarity.

Guiraude

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Guiraude on June 2, 2013

This comes via the French Anarchist Federation (FA-IFA) from Revolutionary Anarchist Action in Turkey:

Le 02 juin 2013 16:57, Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet DAF a écrit:

The clashes began yesterday morning with the intensity no less than the first day of resistance. Police blocked the ways entering Taksim at first. Although the police attacks were more harsh than the day before, nearly one million people fought, moving the barricades forward kicked the police out. Then all the people entered Taksim and Gezi Park. Police had to escape and their cars that could not escape were burned.

Yesterday, the clashes spread all over the country. In many other cities, police attacked protesters with gas bombs, pressured toxic water and plastic bullets. Protesters cleared protected free zones behind barricades.

Yesterday we as Revolutionary Anarchist Action were fighting at the front lines and during the first moments of entrance into the square we wrote a public declaration. We are sharing it below:

This is just the beginning, the struggle is going on.

Revolt is out of time and space. For about 40 hours from Istiklal to Harbiye, from Tarlabasi to Besiktas the freedom of a rebellion is being felt. We come in to Taksim Square from Istiklal, after forty hours of clashes. Law enforcement officers run away with all their vehicles. Forty hours, forty years, the square has been a world for us.

This was the freedom of rebellion, maybe the most frightening slogan was that, this is just the beginning the struggle is going on.

Yes, our struggle is going on till we grow our free world, which we carry in our hearts.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 2, 2013

Came back from the demonstration in Ankara a few hours ago. I'm still very tired and full of tear gas so this will be quite brief. The movement is very heterogenous, with a previously apolitical majority. Very widespread, lots of people are very excited. In Istanbul, over a milion demonstrators overwhelmed the police and took over Taksim square. In Ankara violent clashes have been occuring over the demonstrators intent to occupy Kizilay square and march on the parliament. Today, after hours of clashes and tons of tear gas, the police only managed to disperse the demonstration with the aid of soldiers. The number of total people demonstrating in and around Kizilay is reported to be over 100,000. A protestor was shot with a real gun on the head in Ankara yesterday,and is in hospital right now, expected to die

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 2, 2013

Calls for a general strike are spreading on facebook, twitter and all.

wojtek

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by wojtek on June 3, 2013

Beşiktaş Çarşı football supporters apparently hunting a police tank with a bulldozer
[youtube]fa0TtFkkvUs[/youtube]

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 3, 2013

Leo

Calls for a general strike are spreading on facebook, twitter and all.

I was waiting for that. What day is being proposed? All out indefinite or single day?

bastarx

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by bastarx on June 3, 2013

wojtek

Beşiktaş Çarşı football supporters apparently hunting a police tank with a bulldozer

It's an excavator not a bulldozer.

Steven.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on June 3, 2013

Jenre

Those pictures are on a few sites though, and the people don't exactly look dressed for a marathon.

yeah, with these photos of the bridge up close you can definitely tell they are from the protests. Look at the clenched fists and clubs! Not to mention the flags and banners. They are amazing photos…

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 3, 2013

I was waiting for that. What day is being proposed? All out indefinite or single day?

Well, today was being proposed initially but now there seems to be an increasing focus on tomorrow, and DISK, KESK and other leftist unions are having an extraordinary meeting where they are discussing the possibility of having a general strike. University teachers have gone on strike in Istanbul and Ankara, and also in Ankara several hospitals have gone out basically, declaring that they will only deal with emergencies and the demonstrators. So far the teachers are saying they will be on strike until the 5th, which is going to be when the public sector workers were already scheduled to have a strike. I personally believe that only after the 5th it can actually begin, if the strikers refuse to go back to work.

Here's a banner inviting workers to a general strike:

#invitationtothegeneralstrike If not today, then when? Turn off the switches! Down with the anti-worker government! Both the workplaces and the streets are ours!

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 3, 2013

Paul Mason at the BBC has written about the demonstrations and points out that it 'is certainly already something more than the Turkish version of Occupy.'

Meanwhile an analyst at The Telegraph newspaper is describing how the demonstrations are affecting financial markets, below is a snippet.

The Telegraph

The political crisis comes at a highly sensitive moment as emerging markets across the world face intense pressure, with a sudden exodus of capital flows from those deemed most at risk from trade deficits and political risk.

The Turkish lira fell to a 17-month low against the dollar last week while yields on 10-year Turkish bonds spiked 40 basis points. “We may see some further sell-off in Turkish assets. The Istanbul 100 index may start trading [today] with a sharp drop,” said Tufan Comert from Garanti Securities.

The moves so far reflect the broader flight from emerging markets as hedge funds liquidate their bond holdings on fears over a dollar rally and a withdrawal of dollar-based liquidity as the US Federal Reserve prepares to slow its bond purchases. Morgan Stanley called it a “mini sudden stop” in external funding across the world.

Turkey has been a stellar performer over the past decade and is expected to grow by 4pc this year and next, far outstripping Brazil or Russia, but imbalances are rising. “Our risk indicator suggests that Turkey is one of the emerging markets most vulnerable to an economic crisis,” said William Jackson from Capital Economics.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 3, 2013

another interesting element are the massive solidarity demonstrations of Turkish and Kurdish communities all around the world, in Germany it is my perception that the AABF, a federation representing around 35-50% of the 500.000-600.000 Alevis in Germany is a driving force in organising the protests, the AABF is both a religious body and a left-leaning socio-political organization

meinberg

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by meinberg on June 3, 2013

you can find a timeline of some of the events in multiple languages on linksunten.indymedia.org. the timeline reaches from saturday to yesterday night. it will be continued.

https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/87733

https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/87793

https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/878

edit: ticker for the first half today
https://linksunten.indymedia.org/de/node/87901

edit2: nearly real time:
http://turkishspring.nadir.org/

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 3, 2013

More news on the strike: KESK, the leftist public workers union, has declared that it will merge its one-day warning strike with the demonstrations, and the KESK general strike will take place on the 4th and the 5th, bringing a total of 240,000 public workers on a strike. Meanwhile, DISK, the leftist private sector union which said it can mobilize up to 150,000 workers, has announced that it will be organizing warning demonstrations, with the slogan: "we will stop life if the government doesn't stop attacking demonstrations", reading leaflets in workplaces tomorrow and starting to take action on the 5th. KESK apparently called for a general strike for all unions on the 5th and the 6th, and I've read that DISK, TMMOB (engineers and archithects union) and the TTB (doctors union) are warm on the idea. Calls are made on Turk-Is, the mainstream public workers union, to join in as well although I don't think anyone aside from the opposition unions within Turk-Is (the Syndical Power Unity Platform) will even participate in the demonstrations.

My personal opinion: KESK's limited general strike won't have a large effect, unless the 240,000 striking remain on strike after the 5th or the 6th, quite possibly against the wishes of KESK leaders themselves. The demonstrators probably will urge them to do so, which they well might - and if they do, other workers there might follow.

Additional news: more police brutality in Ankara, the Rector's Office of the Aegean University in Izmir has been occupied, and the demonstrators in Taksim gave the names of the Kurdish victims of the massacre in Roboski (Uludere) and the Turkish and Arab victims of Reyhanli to the trees - a meaningful demonstration of internationalism.

petey

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by petey on June 3, 2013

While masses of protesters battled police armed with tear gas bombs in Istanbul Saturday, CNN-Turk chose instead to air an episode of Spy in the Huddle, a three-part documentary on penguins.

The broadcast poured lighter fluid on online accusations of a countrywide media blackout over riots in Taksim Square, where demonstrators protested a government initiative to turn a park into a shopping center and army barracks.

http://www.dailydot.com/news/cnn-turk-istanbul-riots-penguin-doc-social-media/

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 3, 2013

http://ww4report.com/node/12296

It is true that many of the slogans and language used by a significant portion of the protestors on Saturday [June 1] were Kemalist-inspired, but perhaps more significant was the fact that the protests were not wholly dominated by a Kemalist narrative. This makes the current unrest qualitatively different from previous widespread protests organized in 2007 by the Kemalist elite against a plan by Erdogan to stand as president. These protests, in contrast, are constituted largely of young people without political affiliation, and therefore more akin to the forms of protest we've become accustomed to in recent years across Europe and the Occupy protests in America.

Most significantly however, for a country that is very patriarchal, women have made up a huge portion of the protestors. Thus, the one clear generalization that can be made of the protests with certainty is that they are pluralistic; reflecting many different segments of Turkish society. Turkish nationalists marching alongside Kurdish nationalists, liberals marching with socialists, straight and gay, men and women, environmentalists and trade unionists. And perhaps must strikingly of all—in a country passionately divided by which football team you support, the scene of rival football supporters coming to each other for protection in the face of police oppression.

vicent

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by vicent on June 4, 2013

any news of similar protests in neighboring countries? do you think that might happen?

jef costello

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 4, 2013

This is going crazy on facebook. Probably twitter too.
From what I have heard there has been widespread censorship and people are circulating images, videos, callouts via social media and instant messaging. In an extension of the solidarity you can see in a lot of the videos and images there are also contact details for doctors and medical help being widely circulated.

Solidarity with all comrades and protesters.

I've tried to give as much info as possible, but Turkish is difficult enough to translate as it is and I don't actually speak it. I'll fix any mistakes if you let me know.

A summary with lots of footage from Istanbul over the last few days. It shows a lot of what others have said, the nervous energy of first time protesters, the banging of pots, throwing tear gas back at cops. Some of the water cannons appear to be shooting clear water others green/yellow liquid, not sure if this is just dirty water or if it has tear gas in it.
http://vimeo.com/67594417

Translation of a medical student telling people what to do at a makeshift hospital in a mosque.

“Guys, we are not at med school. We are not at a hospital. We have three equipment in our hands. Pain killers, deltolin [sic?], bandaid/gauze. To those who are short of breath, give deltolin. Painkillers to those in pain. Tend to the ones that require sutures. There are orthopedists here. Direct them and trauma victims to the center. Carry those that are short of breath together with the deltolin. Those with limited knowledge or those that are still in school. Interns, generalists will be gathered towards the right. Otherwise, we are creating chaos here and nothing else. You are excited and you want to help. But emergency treatment does not work like this. Especially in a mosque.. People with breathing problems this way, deltolin and the trauma victims under the lights. Wrap the wounds, stitch them up, provide pain killers. You cannot do anything else. Measuring blood pressure will not do any good. Listening to their breathing at length will not work, you cannot put a breathing tube, you cannot operate. This is a mosque. Do what is necessary and we will guide you. Other than that you are creating chaos. Stay calm and try to maintain 3-4 doctors by the patients. If you are not sure about something, seek guidance. Direct the patients to where they should go . There is nothing else you can do. “
— at Bezm-İ Alem Valide Sultan Camii - Dolmabahçe.

Police casually hosing people. I think this is a few days old.

Antakya, not sure if those are fireworks or volleys of tear gas grenades in the background.

Wish someone hadn't drawn all over this image

Sorry for the translations, I don't speak Turkish.
Marginal
Why is the media silent.
Drunk
terrorist
heretic
fascist.

Not sure of the translation but I think it means
They who dare to attack women cannot be prime minister.

Injured people in Beşiktaş area of Istanbul.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/419143_391382350980179_1311706372_n.jpg
Barricades in same area with truckers showing solidarity


The university students have set up medical support in the buildings but the whole area is being very heavily gassed. Viedo of uni entrance on Sunday


More from Besiktas, like in all the other videos the protesters aren't damaging cars or property (aside from building barricades) It is surreal to see them firing water cannons at a protesters who are retreating through a traffic jam.

Bursa 01:30 Sunday night I think

Central Ankara

People from Ankara and keçiören Marching through Ankara.

Antalya

Police

Police shooting teargas canister into protester's chest after he ignores tear gas grenades falling around him. (might have been something else like a beanbag round, tear gas grenades do more damage I think.)

" />

Protests in Izmir

I cannot really work out what this means but the photo is from Tunali Caddesi one of the main streets of Ankara.
"Melih says this challenge. Tunali is like a beautiful experiment now. Let us Build a barrier from the stones for any 'dokunanlara' (I have no idea what that means.)

David in Atlanta

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by David in Atlanta on June 4, 2013

The Irish SWP is circulating a statement on facebook from their Turkish comrades that states that the Kamalists came out after the police were forced away from the park. Anyone know if that's accurate?

jef costello

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 4, 2013

Link? What is a Kamalist? In Turkey Ataturk is widely popular and pretty much every party claims to be maintaining his legacy as far as I remember. Criticising Ataturk is on a par with saying "fuck the troops" in the US.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 4, 2013

Workers in several working-class neighborhoods in Istanbul have taken to the streets, shouting general strike, general resistance.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on June 4, 2013

jef costello

Link? What is a Kamalist?

I'm assuming he means Kemalist ie Attaturk worshipper.

I was only in Turkey for a week & only met certain types of people (those in tourist industry/areas or young/educated, English-speaker, etc) but the tension between the conservative, ultra-religious rhetoric of Erdogan's party & the largely secular (or nominally/culturally 'Muslim') urban middle class was palpable. Erdogan seems deliberately provocative with his statements about alcohol, women, etc, almost an Ahmadinejad-esque populist, aiming at rural working classes.

Are there any obvious economic imperatives here? I mean, the issue seems to have gone way beyond that of the park & the mall development. Do the urban youth object to rampant developmentalism or do they see it as a necessary imperative to stimulate economic growth?

What role have the military played here? Don't they consider themselves defenders of the Turkish constitution & secularism? I see they've been supporting the police in public order in a couple of instances, what are the odds of them attempting a Tahrir-style manoeuvre if this continues to grow?

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 4, 2013

The opposition within Turk-Is, the main public sector trade-union in Turkey, have declared that they will be going to work late, slowing work, demonstrating before going to work or afterwars, reading leaflets or striking.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 4, 2013

You should not, the Turkish SWP is, in essence, a pro-government organization.

This just in: DISK and TMMOB (leftist public workers union and the engineers and architects union) will also be going on strike tomorow.

jef costello

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 4, 2013

Avukatlar Çağlayan Adliyesi'nde Hükümeti protesto ediyor.

Lawyers are protesting Turkish Government at Caglayan Courthouse.

According to this blog 261 people have been arrested so far in Istanbul.

David: thanks for the link, I can see why you didn't post it.
Leo: I hope you are all well in Ankara.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on June 4, 2013

This article, from former UK ambassador & self-styled 'dissident' Craig Murray, on the latent Kemalist-fascism behind the movement, is doing the rounds. Seems quite contentious IMO, but it's the first attempt in English to analyse the strengths & weaknesses of the movt and its relationship with nationalism: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/06/talking-turkey/

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 4, 2013

Caiman del Barrio

This article, from former UK ambassador & self-styled 'dissident' Craig Murray, on the latent Kemalist-fascism behind the movement, is doing the rounds. Seems quite contentious IMO, but it's the first attempt in English to analyse the strengths & weaknesses of the movt and its relationship with nationalism: http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2013/06/talking-turkey/

That is moronic. Any close reading will reveal that it's based on no real information as to the actual composition of the movement over the last days, but a somewhat/very simplistic version of recent history which does the very thing the article starts by denouncing - i.e. implicitly divides sides up into black hats and white hats. I imagine the only reason it's "doing the rounds" is that it might feed into some lame Counterpunchy-style cold war politics which isn't happy until it can reduce any political unrest in the region into a sinister US/Zionist plot. None of the available evidence from the outside, or the accounts on here from people present in the events, points to a Grey Wolves/CHP/MHP/Deep State plot.

edit: which is not to say, of course, that the CHP/MHP/Army etc aren't currently busy trying to figure out how best to take advantage of the situation, but then so, naturally, are all the other political tendencies (other than AKP loyalists).

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 4, 2013

Re: military and police.

My understanding is that there's traditionally a distrust and a tension there. But I've also heard that the military has been called into certain protest hot-spots to help the cops quell the situation (could also be inflated Twitter rumors--there's a fuck ton of that in Turkey). That being said, Turkish police are incredibly militarized generally and as fucked up as things have gotten, the pigs could still get a lot more aggressive if they wanted to. I mean, it would involve mass causalities, but there's a history of that in Turkey unfortunately.

jef costello

Link? What is a Kamalist? In Turkey Ataturk is widely popular and pretty much every party claims to be maintaining his legacy as far as I remember. Criticising Ataturk is on a par with saying "fuck the troops" in the US.

I tried to go into that a little bit here, Jef.

General Strike

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by General Strike on June 5, 2013

Chilli Sauce

But I've also heard that the military has been called into certain protest hot-spots to help the cops quell the situation (could also be inflated Twitter rumors--there's a fuck ton of that in Turkey).

I've heard directly from a comrade in Ankara that this has been the case there. Seems it was mainly limited to clearing the main square and I haven't heard of it happening elsewhere. I have seen photos of soldiers handing out gas masks to protesters though.

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 5, 2013

Police arrest Twitter users, from the BBC:

state-run Anatolia news agency reported that police had arrested 25 people for tweeting "misinformation".

An official from the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Ali Engin, told Anatolia they were being held for "calling on people to protest".

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Twitter was a "menace" being used to spread "lies".

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 5, 2013

Speaking of the "twitter menace"... Rabble.ie still has two reporters in Istanbul tweeting nightly from Taksim on @wearerabble for anybody who doesn't have enough Turkish to follow most of #occupygezi.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 5, 2013

Also the latest longer piece by the Rabble journos:


(tear gas makes us high)

Fortress Taksim

[...]
Organised political parties and groups tend to converge around stalls inside and outside the park.
One of these is Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF), an anarchist-communist collective and the oldest organisation of that persuasion in Turkey. They distribute flyers and their Meydan newspaper, which has decent production specs for a free political paper.

One of DAF’s members in Istanbul is Özlem Arkun. She says that protestors have already won some victories in the last week. “The courts stopped demolition of Gezi Park so we can say the people have won here. But this is not just about the park, it is bigger. We know that in a few weeks the actions could be over, people could return to their work and this space could be empty. But this will still be an opportunity for a new start for the struggle. What has happened this week will have a lot of impact on the social memory. People realise what can be done if they move together.”

She argues changing the daily life of the people and the city is key for the continuation of the gains made in the Taksim Uprising, but also holds out hope that the general strike this week might broaden the reach of political radicalisation among workers. But she didn’t agree that the movement was middle-class – although it had its genesis there, it had become much more mixed as it expanded.

The Green Left party, a recent merger of the Green Party and the Labour and Democracy Party, also had a stall in Gezi Park. A member of their co-ordinating committee Ayse Öklem told us that although the Taksim Uprising also contained those who wanted the old Turkey, before the AKP, back – such as nationalists and Kemalists – the majority were looking for something new. The large number of those who consider themselves non-political owed, she said, to the issues of public space and individual rights, which transcended formal politics.

Ayse also felt the character of the police intervention in Gezi Park was pivotal to the development of the protests. “If, on the first day, the police had come and laughed at us I think we would have 2,000 or 3,000 people. But when they use violence more people will come, and every time such a movement will grow.”
[...]

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 5, 2013

more stuff: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?rubrique9 (some interesting articles, mostly from a left-socialist or Mandelite background)

http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html (updated every few minutes)

jef costello

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 5, 2013

Chilli Sauce

jef costello

Link? What is a Kamalist? In Turkey Ataturk is widely popular and pretty much every party claims to be maintaining his legacy as far as I remember. Criticising Ataturk is on a par with saying "fuck the troops" in the US.

I tried to go into that a little bit here, Jef.

Thanks, I was mostly interested in the context of the statement David referred to because it's a fairly meaningless description in Turkey.

Devrim

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on June 5, 2013

An article entitled 'Doctors, Workers and Teachers Stop Work' is reporting there being 850,000 strikers today: http://m.radikal.com.tr/iphone/NewsDetail.aspx?ArticleID=160879&CategoryIDs=1
Devrim

subprole

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on June 5, 2013

http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12009/occupy-gezi_the-limits-of-turkey’s-neoliberal-succ
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/12008/on-the-turkish-model_neoliberal-democracy-with-tea
http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/11978/the-right-to-the-city-movement-and-the-turkish-sum

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 6, 2013

It definitely happened, but I'm struggling to find any in-depth sources that covered it in English.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 6, 2013

several messages about strike rallies, etc. here: http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html ... most Turkish leftwing orgs, unions, etc. have better things to do at the moment than updating or creating english-language pages

Devrim

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on June 6, 2013

iexist

Did the strike happen

Chilli Sauce

It definitely happened, but I'm struggling to find any in-depth sources that covered it in English.

This is the piece I linked to yesterday (I was on my phone, and it is only a phone link above):http://www.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/doktorlar_isciler_ogretmenler_is_birakti-1136358

The article is in Turkish, but just to sumarise the numbers, it says 850,000 in total.
DİSK: health, ports, electric-gas sector
KESK: education, health, municipal, and population and tax office workers 250,000
TTB Doctors 90,000
TMMB Engineers and architects 410,000

To be honest the last number seems unbelievable, which of course would reflect on the total.

Devrim

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 6, 2013

Well, it looks like the calming effect of having Erdogan out of the country and Arinc playing nice cop to his nasty, is over. After Erdogan talking tough to the media in Tunisia this morning (see FT "Turkish markets rattled as Erdogan digs in" - paywall, soz), Rabble reports big demo heading back to Taksim (this photo - https://twitter.com/wearerabble/status/342664378136526848/photo/1 - from approx 20 mins ago).

One of the reporters on R4 Today this morning used the amusing but winning analogy of an air of anticipation, like waiting for "daddy" to come home, and knowing he's gonna be angry. Well, it seems he's signalled the kind of confrontational attitude that got people out onto the streets in the first place - and it seems to be having the same effect.

I guess we see what transpires tonight when he gets back, summons his cabinet and demands to know why the cops aren't cracking heads. Or something...

edit: some stuff from that FT article, while I mention it:

The country’s main stock index, the BIST 100, fell more than 7 per cent before recovering to close 4.7 per cent down, while the lira weakened against both the dollar and the euro. The dollar climbed 0.1 per cent to Tl1.8925 while the euro gained 0.5 per cent to Tl2.4862.
The market fall in the wake of Mr Erdogan’s remarks took Turkey’s stock exchange to 20 per cent below its recent high, meeting the definition of a bear market.

also, FWIW

On Wednesday the Turkish writer and Nobel prizewinner Orhan Pamuk voiced his support for the demonstrators as he accused the Erdogan government of being “oppressive and authoritarian”.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 6, 2013

(Huh, I hadn't realised we could embed tweets here - sweet!) Rabble also helping to break a story about a SIPTU (largest Irish TU) press release about arrested KESK unionists in Istanbul

Website of SIPTU, carrying a story about jailed trade unionists in Turkey, unavailable in at least five locations in Istanbul. #OccupyGezi— rabble(@wearerabble) June 6, 2013

For those outside Turkey, here's the article that looks to have got SIPTU's website blocked: siptu.ie/media/pressrel… #OccupyGezi— rabble(@wearerabble) June 6, 2013

We've just spoken to SIPTU. They are contacting the Turkish embassy in Dublin to see if the website has been blocked and why. #OccupyGezi— rabble(@wearerabble) June 6, 2013

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 6, 2013

got this from a friend inside Turkey:

''Dear friends, currently the mainstream global media is keeping an eye on Taksim, Istanbul. Thus, the police forces have backed off and they have remarkably scaled down the number of attacks against the protesters. However, in the meantime the police terror in Ankara as it is now is on a much larger scale compared to the very beginning of Istanbul attacks. Tear gas is relentlessly being thrown inside apartments, people are suppressed by plastic bullets, illegal custody and physical assault. Things have escalated quickly and the scale of these attacks are rapidly increasing. We need to make benefit of social media once again to show the world what's going on in Ankara right now. Here is a message from the people of Ankara: ''We have supported the protesters of Istanbul from the beginning, and now it is your turn to support us and the rest of Turkey. This resistance is clearly not limited to Istanbul, it has taken over all of the country. The festive atmosphere in Istanbul is just a trick to fool global media and soothe off the masses, yet nothing has been accomplished yet and things have just started actually.''

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 6, 2013

more from Ankara from http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html

22.22:

[Ankara] Police launched tear gas attack on people marching from Dikmen Avenue.

22.19:

[Ankara] People started combining their groups. Masses in İlker Street and Dikmen gathered together. There they started marching to Police Housing with a group of 5 thousand. In Çetin Emeç Street a people of 150 of Öveçler and a 3 thousand of Ahmed Arif Park gathered together.

22.17:

[Ankara] More than 5000 people are marching at Keçiören

22.15:

[Ankara] People from the Mamak moved ahead Dikimevi (20 min walk to Kızılay square)

22.07:

[Ankara] Group in Mesrutiyet Street reached Guvenpark.

22.06:

[Ankara] Mamak group joined Abidinpaşa. In Tuzluçayır Square five thousand people on action.

22.00:

[Ankara] About 3 thousand people arrived at Barış Yolu (Peace Road) in Keçiören

21.59:

[Ankara] About 2 thousand people started marching to Kızılay from Tuzluçayır.

21.56:

[Ankara] People around 200 keep waiting in Güvenpark.

21.54:

[Ankara] Çapul Tv: In Ankara Akay Crossroad, police tension started.

21.50:

[Ankara] From Kuğulupark, hundreds of people met Meşrutiyet Street from Konur Street.

21.48:

[Ankara] In Kecioren approximately thousand of people who were waiting in front of the İncirli highschool met with the people that started marching from Danisment.

21.43:

[Ankara] Three thousand protestors started marching from Batikent square. Also people started meeting on subway exists on Batikent.

21.35:

[Ankara] Five thousand protestors got together on Tuzlucayir Square. They are going to march together to Kizilay after the group marching from Saimekadin joins them.

21.33:

[Ankara] Police attacked people gathered around the Akay roundabout. One person got wounded by the gas canister hit in the belly.

21.32:

[Ankara] About 400 people came together in Saimekadin (a district of Ankara) and started marching to Tuzlucayır square.

21.29:

[Ankara] A 400 of people in Ahmed Arif Park in Dikmen and a thousand of people in Dikmen Avenue gathered and hundreds of people started marching in İlker Street. They will all gather in Dikmen Avenue.

21.28:

[Ankara] Approximately two thousand people that met on Batikent square will march to subway exit.

21.24:

[Ankara]- A thousand of people started marching in Kecioren from Danisment district.

21.23:

[Ankara] Halkevi members and Student Collectives joined to the crowd in Guvenpark.

21.21:

[Ankara] In Ankara about 500 people started to march from national education ministry to the parliment.

21.19:

[Ankara] The protestor population is over 10 thousand in Kugulupark.

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 6, 2013

Yeah, things have gotten really nasty in Ankara.

The cops are using a combo of TOMAs--basically urban tanks--and what the Turks call scorpions, a more compact militarized vehicle, to gas and water cannon protesters. And whatever chemicals they're using seem to have really adverse effects. I've directly spoken to more than one person who's been shot with orange-tinted water and gone home and thrown up all night. They're totally indiscriminate as well, just rolling into public square and releasing volleys of tear gas.

In fact, I've been surprised just how few cops I've seen face-to-face since this all kicked off. I've seen maybe 25 cops, but a dozen TOMAs.

rooieravotr

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on June 6, 2013

A few questions.
1. How should we evaluatie the turkishspring.nadir updates? Anything known about that website that can be safely said here?
2 Leo wrote in an earlier comment: "the Turkish SWP is, in essence, a pro-government organization." In what sense? I could use some more in fo about that in debates here in the Netherlands.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 6, 2013

basically some people translating the twitter feed from http://www.sendika.org/category/english/ ... nadir is a long established radical publication platform from Germany

Ablokeimet

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ablokeimet on June 7, 2013

Chilli Sauce

In fact, I've been surprised just how few cops I've seen face-to-face since this all kicked off. I've seen maybe 25 cops, but a dozen TOMAs.

To my mind, this says that the regime is suffering from a shortage of coppers. They've probably stripped the rest of the country down to a skeleton staff in order to send the maximum number to Istanbul. This means that, faced with widespread revolt, they don't have the option of using finesse in their tactics. They're reduced to random brutality from within their armoured vehicles. It would also explain reports of the Army being used in a logistical role in Ankara.

If this is the correct interpretation, it is exceedingly good news. The Government is reaching the limits of its ability to impose its will on society. How long can he keep sending the coppers into battle against the protestors? I don't think that Erdogan would be willing to risk using the Army in a front line role, because:

(a) It would look so bad and drive even more people into the arms of the opposition - as well as causing difficulties for him in relations with other States; and

(b) He couldn't count on the Army to do what it's told. He knows he's pushing the envelope in terms of his deviation from Kemalism and his calculation has been that, with the support of the population, he can force the Army to tolerate him. If the population is opposing him, however, and the Army is required not merely to tolerate him but to impose his will, that's another matter entirely and not one of which he'd be confident of the outcome without the support of the CHP.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 7, 2013

To be fair, I don't think "finesse" is actually a word in the Turkish policing dictionary. In fact the habitual knee-jerk brutality and casual indifference to, or even enthusiasm for, spilling civilian blood appears* to be one of the factors that contributed to the response of public sympathy (by many, if not all) to the initial attacks on a relatively small group of protestors. It might possibly go some way to explaining the different reactions by folk from the big cities (Istabul, Ankara, Izmir, etc) who witness this cop behaviour regularly enough, and the towns and villages of the Anatolian interior who are probably (guessing here) more used to seeing riot cops on the TV news than their own streets.

The use of armoured vehicles without accompanying police "infantry" can also be seen as a deliberate strategy - i.e. very demoralising for potential rioters to be faced with an enemy that stones and molotovs cannot really repel; saves on policing injuries bill; sends a clear message of "we don't care if people get killed in clearing this area"; etc.

However, it does have more police-oriented effects as well. One is the rather sinister effect of distancing the vehicle operators from the effects of the violence they're meeting out and the human-ness of their targets - a sort of Xboxisation effect, if you like. The other, is the manpower question - if you've got enough vehicles (capital cost question), then you can reduce the policing labour needed to clear a particular area. But with policing you have to factor in not only the capital and labour costs, but also the political "costs". Otherwise they'd be throwing a lot more armoured cars, water cannon, gas, LRADS, etc into public order situations, if selection of means was consequence-free.

It seems quite likely that the government is playing a different policing game around Taksim, where they are now (temporarily) under the eye of international media, and a more instrumental, "just get the job done, with minimal manpower and maximum 'shock and awe'" in Ankara and elsewhere.

* disclaimer: all of this is idle speculation, based on my own visits to Turkey and past conversations with Turkish comrades. I'm not close enough to the current action to really unpick the factors at play - in any case, large scale public upheavals are huge, complex phenomena that resist easy 'real-time' analysis - even for those in the middle of them.

Harrison

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Harrison on June 7, 2013

a sort of Xboxisation effect, if you like

An unrelated fact, but Xbox 360 controllers are nowadays used in military applications for remote piloting.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 7, 2013

The information about Ankara is correct.

Did the workers stay on strike?

Nope.

2 Leo wrote in an earlier comment: "the Turkish SWP is, in essence, a pro-government organization." In what sense? I could use some more in fo about that in debates here in the Netherlands.

They've been supporting the AKP government for so long, it is ridiculous that now they claim to be opposed. They were even congratulated by the current prime minister in one of his speeches, and during the constitutional referandum, their leaflets were printed en masse by the current government.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 7, 2013

Re the AKP support by the Turkish SWP, it should be pointed out that this appears to be a bit of a pattern by ISO groups towards "critical support" for Muslim Brotherhood or similar "moderate" (ha!) Islamist groups as "the lesser evil". See also Egypt in the last elections, the UK (the MAB are the UK wing of the MB), etc. From "Vote Labour with No Illusions" to "Vote Ikhwan with No Illusions", if you like...

edit: I don't know what the local front group of the MB in the Netherlands is, but it might be worth tracking them down and seeing what. if any, relations the local SWP have with them.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 7, 2013

in the Netherlands, I suppose, that they (IS, the SWP clone) are supporting the ex-maoist SP which got nearly 10% last year ... don't think, that e.g. the Turkish ex-hoxhaite group DIDF which works in the SP would welcome Islamists in the party, even when they're introduced by the IS

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 7, 2013

iexist

How do they justify both positions? (SWP)

anti-imperialist alliance against US and British imperialism

subprole

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by subprole on June 7, 2013

http://www.leftcom.org/en/articles/2013-06-06/some-considerations-on-the-demonstrations-in-turkey

We’ll leave it to the journalists with their “stock images” to chart the presumed causes of the recent protests in Turkey. The story that the demolition of Gezi Park to make way for a shopping centre, mosque and car park, is the prime cause of the protests in Istanbul and the brutal state repression by the police, called onto the streets after two days of clashes, is simply laughable.

Certainly everything kicked off from Taksim Square’s one green space — the park, but as for why tens of thousands at first and then millions joined demonstrations in all the bigger Turkish cities, a deeper explanation is required.

First of all, the socio-economic situation must be evaluated. Turkey emerged stronger from a financial crisis in 2002, thanks largely to a series of factors which allowed the AKP, Erdogan's Justice and Development Party, to begin a process of development that in ten years brought Turkey to be the 17th country in the world in terms of GDP, to become a central element in the politics of the Middle East and a vital hub for the transport of oil and gas from central Asia to the Mediterranean and then on to Europe. The political stability of the new government, the stability of the Turkish lira, the relatively low cost of labour allowed considerable amounts of capital to engage in productive and speculative investment. The favourable situation for Turkish capitalism lasted into the first few years of the international crisis, but then came the fateful hitch in the proceedings.

The recapitalisation of the banks, which had allowed the first steps forward for Ankara’s economy, disintegrated as increasing speculative activity subtracted capital from industry. Despite the reorganisation of the labour force and the restructuring of leading sectors of the real economy, based on super-exploitation and insecurity, the economy began to suffer from the lack of internal funding, by the contraction in international demand. At the same time imports, especially of energy, continued at the same pace as before. In the public sector the leap forward led to an increase in the national debt equal to 100% of GDP. In turn this has led for a couple of years now, to cuts in health care and schools, while layoffs have begun in a range of petty bourgeois areas linked to the public sector, and last but not least, in the construction industry which was, and still is, the focus of some of the biggest speculation in the country.

All this has triggered a progressive malaise against Erdogan and his party. Until two years ago, everything was under control and the Prime Minister of more times than anyone else enjoyed a wide popularity, being re-elected with almost plebiscitary consensus (he has been in power continuously since 2002). Today things are changing and the policy of slow Islamisation, the cancellation of the few "secular throwbacks" and the arrogance of power mean there is less and less room for manoeuvre. But, although they have played an important role in recent events, it is not just a matter of civil rights and the defence of secular Turkish society which is moving millions of Turks. Behind all this there is a malaise which makes what previously would have passed smoothly seem unbearable, a malaise keenly felt by the government itself which has not held back with the crackdown, giving rise to scenes of brutal violence which otherwise would have been unnecessary.

The opposition which took to the streets, first in Istanbul and then in all the squares of Turkey, is varied, multifaceted and politically confused. First, there are the members of the political opposition, those who have had to endure in Parliament and in society as a whole the humiliation of being relegated to the margins of national politics. These are the traditional bourgeois political forces of the "left" who have not missed the opportunity to take to the streets and annoy "Erdogan “the Islamist”. This component includes the institutional political parties of the secular tradition such as the radicals, socialists and residues of Stalinism who still call themselves communists. Outside of these party political cages fringes of the middle classes in the process of proletarianisation, or already proletarianised, are active such as doctors, engineers and graduates who work in the public sector in general and who are finding themselves swelling the ranks of the redundancies required to reduce the cost of public administration. Many are young people, mainly university and college students who have seen increased taxes and reduced services. For the moment presence of the working class is not yet preponderant even if they are involved in the demonstrations in each locality. Above all young temporary/casual workers and underemployed, young sub-proletarians and unemployed are present on the streets of Istanbul or Ankara. But we are only at the beginning, the crisis has yet to bite more viciously. This does not mean that we are on the eve of a large scale insurrectional process, nor that the proletariat is about to write a glorious Turkish page of the class struggle. It only means that the crisis is beginning to trouble those countries which, until a few years ago, seemed to be immune to it and that out of this welter of opposition to the Erdogan government, either a revolutionary advance guard with anti-capitalist policies will emerge, or else everything is destined to return as before, with the prospect of more tragic episodes of repression.

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 7, 2013

Good article subprole and, Leo, that's really interesting (if not unsurprising) about the Turkish SWP.

I just wanted to comment on Ocelot's post and just say that seems just about spot-on to me.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 8, 2013

How do they justify both positions? (SWP)

In Turkey, they used to do so claiming that the AKP government was advancing democracy and freedoms against the old Kemalist elites. Their slogan on the constitution was "Yes, but not enough" rather than "Yes, with no illusions". They haven't supported the AKP in any actual elections though, they tend to support the Kurdish nationalists recently. Now, of course, they'd say they are "critical" of the AKP.

In the past, before the IST's overt Islamist turn, the Turkish SWP used to support the Kemalists against the much dreaded fear of Islamic reaction, going so far as calling for a vote for the kemalist Republican People's Party in at least one election.

rooieravotr

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by rooieravotr on June 8, 2013

I don't know what the local front group of the MB in the Netherlands is, but it might be worth tracking them down and seeing what. if any, relations the local SWP have with them

Lol, no need to "track them down", I was member of that organization for almost 20 years, and needed some 18 months afterward to lose my Leninism (of most of it; still struggling, as some of my questions here might indicate). Some Turkish exiles in the Netherlands are members and/ or supporters, so there is some personal connection with IS politics in Turkey as well. And yes, the IS in the Netherlands used to be very soft on Islamism - as I did not recognise back then -, and yes, they supported (still do) the "ex-maoist " SP that for more than 20 years is jst a somewhat more left wing version of the Labour party. They (we, back then, I am sorry to say...) tried to enter, but failed. After that, the IS basically functions as left wing advisers of the SP, which, according to them, "should" do all kinds of things it simply won't.

However, this thread is on Turkey, not on the Dutch IS (which, by the way, has translated and published the Turkish IS-text earlier mentioned in this thread). My question was specifically aimed to the role the Turkish IS group is playing. I am not totally surprised at the answers; they fit the general, dismal, picture of IS politics in regards Islamic groups and governments. Thanks for the answers.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 8, 2013

some interesting snippets from yesterday's news on http://turkishspring.nadir.org/index_eng.html

[Eskihesir] At Eskişehir, committees of the resistance are set up. At the Eskişehir Direniş Square, all regulation of the square is determined by the committees. Today, Direniş Square committees are set up with the general meeting. Committees are going to state their decisions to the general meetings everyday at 8.00pm. The committees and their functions are : Eylem (Protest) committeee: Planning the protests' content and route, creating slogans. // Üniversite ve Eğitim (University and Education) Committee: Organizing the education, information and discussions in the area. // Öneri ve Fikir (Proposal and Idea) Committee: Generating creative ideas about everything of the area. // Temizlik ve Çevre (Cleaning and Environment) Committee: Cleaning of the area, protecting the environmental layout and the animals on the streets. // Basın (Press) Committee: Following the press, taking photographs. // Koordinasyon ve İletişim (Coordination and Communication) Committee: Providing communication between committees. // Güvenlik (Security) Committee: Checking general security of the area, planning emergency situations. // İlkyardım (First Aid) Committee

[Istanbul] The clash at Gazi that has been going on for hours has now ended.

is this the area where the 1995 riots took place?

[Antalya] Protests in Antalya does not seem to stop. Halkevleri built a podium at Cumhuriyet Square, where 500 doctors came by foot.

[Adana] Police in Adana started attacking thousands of people who were marching towards AKP Provincial Office. The crowd is trying to regather in Atatürk Park.

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 9, 2013

in Hamburg/Germany, Linksruck, the German SWP clone tried to recruit the Shura, a coordination of Mosques whose main component is Millî Görüş (disputed area between AKP and the more right-wing Saadet Partisi) plus the Iranian's state mosque in Hamburg into the local peace coordination around 9 or 10 years ago, trying to imitate the StWC ... but the majority of groups and individuals involved in the peace coordination blocked it: pacifist groups because they had doubts about the "peace-loving" character of the Shura (e.g. on Yugoslavia 1999) but the main protest against admitting the Shura came from Turkish, Kurdish and Iranian leftists and their German friends, who simply didn't want to work with Islamists, who had physically attacked some of them a couple of years before

Devrim

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on June 9, 2013

On the Turkish version of the SWP being a pro-government party, here is the quite where Tayip thanks them for their support after the referendum:

Tayip Erdoğan

"Bu değişikliğe destek veren CHP’li, MHP’li, BDP’li kardeşlerimi tehditlere aldırmadan sandığa giden kardeşlerimi kutluyorum. Başından itibaren “Evet” diyerek desteğini veren Saadet Partili kardeşlerimi, BBP’li kardeşlerimi, Hak-Par’lı kardeşlerimi, Bağımsız Ülkücüleri, Kürt Aydınları, Devrimci Sosyalist İşçi Partili arkadaşlarımı kutluyorum. Başından beri evet diyen AKP’li kardeşlerimi kutluyorum. Genç Siviller’i kutluyorum."

The bit in bold translates as "I congratulate my Revolutionary Socialist Workers Party friends". Also mentioned alongside them are "his brothers" in the Saadet Party (Islamicist), and the Büyük Birlik Party (ultranationalist)

A link can be found here.

Devrim

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 9, 2013

btw., does anyone know the position of Saadet Partisi, BBP and Hüda-Par on the current movement?

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 10, 2013

http://www.n-tv.de/politik/Tuerkische-Polizisten-begehen-Suizid-article10790921.html (in German) speaks of at least six police officers who have committed suicide during the last days due to the immense stress (shifts up to 120 hours), the same article also says that the newly-founded coppers union Emniyet-Sen (7000 members) sees the violence committed by cops as a result of violence inside the police

emix2crete

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by emix2crete on June 10, 2013

http://spanishrevolution11.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/the-free-republic-of-taksim/

"The Free Republic of Taksim
...Here you have gays and lesbians next to anticapitalist muslims. You have trotzkyists and kemalists and anarchists all eating at the same table. You have nationalists, ecologists, students, workers, feminists, etc. They dance together in circles, having the time of their lives. And of course you have the football supporters, let’s not forget them. The three big teams from Istanbul are all here, Besiktas, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce. They were sworn enemies not so long ago, and now they sing and chant as brothers, united against prime minister Erdogan and the police. [...]

At the moment, Taksim Square is what anarchists call a ‘Temporary Autonomous Zone’. In other words, it’s a bubble in time and space wherein freedom has been achieved. It won’t last forever, but it will give rise to other bubbles. And so on. Until it boils. Until the whole damn system has evaporated."

Entdinglichung

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on June 10, 2013

the solidarity demonstrations in Germany are split between (a bit larger) demos of Kurdish, Alevi and leftist organizations and demos by Kemalist and nationalist groups (mainly the CHP, the TGB which is a kind of youth org in sympathy with the left wing of the CHP and the ex-Maoist IP and the Atatuerk Idea Associations, very few "Idealists"), the PKK in Germany has ended its reluctant position and is now mobilising its supporters (can be up to 200.000 people) ... generally, according to http://www.labournet.de/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/PM_Kurdengezi.pdf (in German, sorry), the Kurdish left nationalist movement has adopted a position of support while being sceptical about the involvement of Kemalist and nationalist parties and groups, some of the statements are pointing out, that now normal people in Istanbul are experiencing what was normality for Kurds for the last decades

woooo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by woooo on June 11, 2013

An Australian anarchist in turkey critiques the protests. Apols if posted already

http://www.citizen-k.net/blog/?p=599

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 11, 2013

Just read that piece, I'm not in Istanbul, so I can't comment fully but I can't really say it reflects my experience. Sure, mistakes are made: I f*cking hate the Guy Fawkes masks, and I've also noticed the growing number of food vendors in and near the protests.

What I do know is that here in Ankara, the majority of the folks on the front line--lighting the barricades and throwing stone--seem to be university students (there are a number of historically left-wing universities in the city). And that's part of the reason I think this "they're all middle class" is, well, basically bullshit. I mean, it's the same discourse we hear from the ruling class every time social movements pick up steam: these are just middle class elites, blah, blah, blah. I mean, when "guilt ridden" becomes your understanding of class dynamics rather actually looking at the shifting composition of the Turkish working class, that's pretty problematic.

And the author is probably right that this is a bit of protest tourism for a lot of people, but on one level, so what? Tear gas is used liberally by the Turkish state and regardless of why you've come to the protest, when the police attack, you have to respond. Whether that response is offensive or defensive, your little protest holiday is over. What's the old adage--cops' batons make a lot more revolutionaries than revolutionary organisations ever have.

I also really hate the discourse of the "TAZ". Jesus, you'd think the anarchist movement had moved beyond this infantile bullshit.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 11, 2013

Wow that Aussie dude is a knob. Check this shit out:

The poor people are voluntarily going to the barricades to help the rich people stay safe on the top of the hill, and have taken their rightful place as the barrier between State and middle class without the middle class even asking them to do so. This unconscious repetition of class roles illustrates most clearly that this event isn’t challenging some of the deepest elements of Turkish society, which are an ingrained respect for class differentiation and demagoguery[...]

Patronising, much?

From the combination of his solipsism ("Me, me, me! I got shot! Was it really worth shedding my blood for these Turkish peasants?" etc) his misanthropic contempt for everybody involved, regardless of what class he (arbitarily) assigns them to, I'd say his particular rage for the middle class sounds suspiciously like self-hatred.

Meanwhile, back in Taksim, police efforts to clear the square have intensified this morning. Follow the action on your preferred feed.

ocelot

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ocelot on June 11, 2013

Yeah, the molotovs thing looks like it might be a bit of a setup, tbh.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/11/turkey-police-move-into-taksim-square#block-51b6ef53e4b0bfa7376c4a09

State media have taken a break from showing docs on Penguins and turned up at 6am (by appointment?) to film molotov throwers.

There is widespread suspicion that many of the clashes between police and "protesters" have been faked, with social media suggesting that some of those throwing molotov cocktails are agent provocateurs.

Video footage on the website of the daily Hurriyet shows a small group of four of five "demonstrators" lobbing cocktails at police. But their attempts are suspiciously theatrical and inept – with the "demonstrators" at one point advancing in a hopeless Roman-style assault.

Turkish state media have broadcast footage of these encounters live, in stark contrast to the early days of the protests, marked by police brutality, which it failed entirely to report.

One of the activists in Taksim Square, Sevin Turan, has posted photos on her Twitter account showing one of the throwers. He is visibly balding, wears military-style khaki clothing, and bears no resemblance to the thousands of demonstrators who have peacefully occupied the square for the past 12 days.

molotov throwers in #taksim look weird: older than 40, very organized, well-equipped with a weird bump on their back twitter.com/sevinturan/sta…— Sevin Turan (@sevinturan) June 11, 2013

jef costello

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jef costello on June 11, 2013

Joseph Kay

Water cannon on fire in Taksim Square, this is like the end of Independence Day, we've found their weakness.. twitter.com/brianwhelanhac…— Brian Whelan (@brianwhelanhack) June 11, 2013

Good to see after hearing what those things are being used to do.
Edit: well maybe not.

Leo

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Leo on June 11, 2013

An extra note on the Turkish SWP: a leading member of this party, Hayko Bagdat, was making announcements from police speakers today calling for dispersal as the police were attacking the demonstrators in Taksim.

ludd

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by ludd on June 11, 2013

I thought this was a good article on barricades in Taskim: http://communisation.espivblogs.net/2013/06/08/an-impression-of-istanbul-experience/

It's all second hand to me of course but this level of fortification sounds pretty great.

Jacques Roux

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Jacques Roux on June 11, 2013

Thanks for sharing, nice post.

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 11, 2013

Yeah, everyone I'm talking to is claiming the Molotovs are the works of agents provocateurs.

Chilli Sauce

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Chilli Sauce on June 12, 2013

There's been solidarity demos around iexist. I know it's not always easy for you to get out, but I'd be surprised if there hasn't been solidarity actions in NYC.

Caiman del Barrio

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Caiman del Barrio on June 12, 2013

Hello comrades;
This is an assesment that we wrote abot the Taksim Riot. We publish this
text in our newspaper Meydan Newspaper.

With revolutionary solidarity
Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF)

*WE ARE WINNING

This is a revolt*

Urban Transformation Projects have long been threatening living spaces of
Istanbul residents. First slum demolitions, and then 63 million square
meters of forests to be pillaged for the third bridge, shopping malls built
one after another, luxury hotels, and while the pedestrianization project
continued, next was Gezi Park. Istanbul residents continued to resist all
of these projects that threatened life. Until excavators came to Gezi Park
and uprooted the trees. Until "a handful of marginals" that claimed the
trees and their shadows and said "Do not uproot trees, do not build a
shopping mall to Gezi Park". This demonstration was introduced as a
"ecological and peaceful" action. Until the police did a early morning
operation and smothered the park area with gas. The state must have "a lot"
to profit since it's trying to bring this peaceful protest down as hard as
it can. Police violence had been climbing up in the last few months and
protesters were unexpectedly exposed to it. Deputies of opposition parties
and artists came to Gezi Park to protest this and to support protesters,
but they also had their share of state terror.

In the first day of demolition, state could not get what he wanted because
of this scene. Protesters stayed in Gezi Park for the night. It's unknown
if they were expecting an attack the next morning, but all protesters were
thrown out of the park with the police raid in the morning. The police
burned protesters' tents, blankets and belongings. The videos of protesters
exposed to continuous gas bombs and violently taken in custody invoked rage
in everyone who watched.

Of course this rage was not the rage for a single demonstration. This rage
was accumulated. Accumulated for increasing police violence.

It was the attacks with gas bombs, batons and arms that created this rage.
It was forbidden May 1st, Dilan, Şerzan, Metin Lokumcu, Aydin Erdem... What
created this rage was more than two days. It was increasing oppression,
restrictions, censorship, economic exploitation... What created this rage
was the state exercising its power on the people recklessly, relentlessly
and without questioning legitimacy.

The ones who ascribe the "People's Revolt" as post modern style of action,
must see this clearly. The people spontaneously came to the streets because
they felt the social, political and economic oppression heavily. The events
are neither a deal in the last few days as the blind-deaf mainstream media
says, nor are affected by "marginal" groups as the one in state power says.

It is time to raise the curtain before the eyes. This is a revolt. It is
the reaction of people against state terrorism, police violence and
capitalist exploitation. This is the end of legitimacy of the new state
power that had gained the love of other states, international institutions
and global corporations.

*The Democracy of Marginalization, Othering and Neglect*

It's very important that the revolt is happening at a time when the
propaganda of state power is "Democratic Turkey". By this reaction to state
terrorism, the people have pulled down the "democratic" respectability of
the state.

People were on the streets in a setting where the freedom of the people
were ignored, people were tortured and killed arbitrarily, all of the
mainstream media turned into official state press, the state is preparing
for war nearby and killing its own people with its own hands while doing it.

The revolt spread to other cities in the second day. The shared rage
against state terrorism started to burn streets everywhere. The public were
on the streets not because of main opposition party or some leaders words,
but with own volition. To respond to all of this by standing against police
violence and state terrorism. With this consciousness, they attacked the
police, state buildings and temples of capitalist exploitation. The ones
that did it were not "marginal groups". This was also a revolt against the
othering behaviour of the state against the ones that did not obey its
power, against "marginalizing politics" of the state. Moreover the
government did not have anybody to settle or deal with. This revolt was a
direct action.

The state neglected the revolt from the beginning. It was banned on
television, the papers and other media. It was not only on Taksim. People
flowed from Besiktas, Harbiye and other places of Istanbul/ The state had
closed Gezi Park and Taksim Square with all law-enforcement officers in
hand. The clashes continued all day. The public got more angry on each gas
bomb, on each sound bomb and each custody. They resisted the police
violence with determination. Nearly a million people that filled Taksim did
not step back. To say we are here against the state's neglect.

In the morning of the second day, the police violence was even more intense
and we had news of deaths and wounded people. The state terrorized without
caring about either legitimacy, nor human rights, nor democracy. In a two
day revolt, the state throwed away all the masks of ideals and values that
it had been hiding behind. The state showed its real face to its people.
The monopoly of violence terrorized not just in Istanbul, but in every
place that had actions of solidarity with Istanbul. News of deaths, news of
wounds and custodies increased.

Whole forty hours... After nearly forty hours of clashes the people got
from Istiklal street to Taksim Square. The law enforcement officers escaped
with all vehicles. Forty hours became forty years, the square became the
world for us. The was the freedom of revolt. Our sorrow was our friends
that were wounded and lost their lives.

Then Gezi Park, then Gumussuyu, then Besiktas... Then Sakarya, Kocaeli,
Ankara, İzmir, Adana, Dersim... In this revolt that is still going on, the
most important motivation that kept the spontaneity was sharing and
solidarity. Voluntary health workers formed civil health centers for the
protesters that were affected by the police violence. Organisations like
law associations, bar, Human Rights Association supported protesters in
custody or in similar conditions. Chambers like Turkish Mechanical
Engineers Chamber Association turned their buildings to hospitals. People
opened their homes, workplaces, gave support with food and drinks. People
gave information to each other over social media, people created their own
means despite of silenced media.

Everywhere and everyone became the revolt against state terrorism and
police violence. Social solidarity have worked when the state left the
lives alone and it is continuing to work.

*Reservations of Revolt*

The media that became "mute" at the beginning of revolt, now tries to give
a meaning to the the revolt. Of course the meaning that their boss wants.
They said it is individualist, it is reckless, it is post modern, it is
urban and secular... They have affirmed the people that streamed the
streets with these concepts. They likened it to the Velvet Revolution in
Prague. They are trying to void a revolt against state terrorism, police
violence and capitalist exploitation.

The sectors that were disturbed by the party in power and its government
because of conflicting economic and political interests (many of which are
upper and upper-middle class) started to go out on streets on the next
days. These sectors that were supporters of the previous rulers of state
were emphasizing anti-government protests rather than state terror and
police violence. Care must be taken to avoid strong reformist demands of
this sector to block this new struggle of the oppressed against state
terrorism, police violence abd capitalist exploitation. These sectors may
try to manipulate the struggle towards their own economic and political
interests.

Parties in opposition may try to exit the scene with profit, as with all
"springs". Their call for staying away from "marginal groups" while
assessing the revolt, is the most clear evidence that they are talking with
the language of power. As in revolts in other places, these parties that
try to gain power using this revolt will try to stop the people who
revolted spontaneously, without leaders and without parties.

Since these sectors are not the organizers of the movement, they cannot
impose their social-economic characters to the public. So, they cannot
direct the action. Besides, their insistent phrase "marginal groups"
consists of the individuals that annoy them, but are also the real
mobilizers of the revolt. Moreover, they are consciously blind to the fact
that other oppressed people from different sectors are resisting not only
in centers like Taksim and Besiktas but also in "surrounding" areas. Yes,
the revolt has an ideology| but it is not an ideology that the media,
parties in opposition and various economic focus groups try to homogenize
and depoliticise. The ideology of the revolt is the consciousness of the
individual that feels the increasing state terror and the individual action
to struggle against it.

This revolt started against state terror, police violence and capitalist
exploitation as we emphasized from the beginning. We hope that it will
increase with general strikes and have more of the oppressed on the streets
and with this hope we are growing the revolt. Our reservations against the
revolt may be realized moving forward, the revolt may be diminished into a
power struggle of opposing parties. But we are not oracles. Revolutionaries
do not make hopeless predictions of the future and sit on the corner. We
well know that revolts like this are mobilizing moments on the way to
social revolution. Our anarchist struggle will continue to embrace the
revolt with all passion.

http://meydangazetesi.org/gundem/2013/06/bu-daha-baslangic-mucadeleye-devam-3/

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 12, 2013

From the occupied Gezi Park in Taksim/Istanbul:
(First half in English, second half in Turkish):

https://www.google.com/search?q=gezi+sefiller&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

mikail firtinaci

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on June 13, 2013

An amazing video showing the square in the morning (before the last police attack 2 days ago):

http://vimeo.com/68207051#

Mark.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on June 13, 2013

[youtube]EqPSZ8uqBZM[/youtube]

baboon

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on June 14, 2013

There is a sense where trees do have a symbolic value. "Foreign Relations 2013" reports that the sycamore trees in Istanbul's Gezi Park, have been adorned with the names of the dead, a memorial to the more than 50 people who died in the twin car-bombing in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli last month. A large number of the population of Reynali directly blamed the Erdogan's government involvement in the Syrian war for the bombings (probably carried out by jihadis with assistence from Turkish intelligence) and up to ten thousand protested on the streets, with some Turkish flags evident, and forced the police to retreat.

There have been protests in the Turkish border towns against the spread of war and the presence of jihadis since last October and protests have continued in the town of Antakya where many demonstrations have taken place. One worker here tweeted against the economic price that accompanies imperialist war.

MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Centre, based in Ankara, found that 28% of the Turkish public support the position of the Erdogan's clique on the war.

This anti-war expression is very much a minority in the Turkish protests and, while it could be used by the opposition, the leftists, etc., to support Turkish nationalism (and maybe against Syrian refugees), it nevertheless exists and can only grow as imperialist induced chaos increases around the region and those specifically in relation to the war against Syria.

Mark.

11 years ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Mark. on June 16, 2013

[youtube]Q2Or3siw5fo[/youtube]

pikatron

10 years 6 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by pikatron on November 30, 2013

we went to istanbul during the uprising to see what the workers content of this movement was. we made this short film about one set of striking workers in the park, from Hey Textile factory, who had been on strike for over a year: http://en.labournet.tv/video/6605/hey-textile-workers-strike

Entdinglichung

9 years 9 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Entdinglichung on September 8, 2014

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/members-of-supporters-group-face-life-in-prison-for-involvement-in-gezi-protests.aspx?pageID=238&nID=71428&NewsCatID=339 (sorry for linking Hürriyet, haven't found a better source that quick):

Prosecutors have demanded aggravated life imprisonment for 35 members of the iconic supporter group of Beşiktaş, çArşı, on charges of “attempting to overthrow the government” in Arab Spring-like fashion for leading last year’s Gezi protests in Istanbul, Turkish media reported Sept. 8.

The indictment submitted to the court has accused çArşı members of establishing an organization and attempting “to create an image similar to the Arab Spring that could be provided to the foreign press with the aim of ousting the legal Turkish government by illegal means.”