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What is Happening in Istanbul?


by ?nsanlik Hali

To my friends who live outside of Turkey:

I am writing to let you know what is going on in Istanbul for the last five days. I personally have to write this because most of the media sources are shut down by the government and the word of mouth and the internet are the only ways left for us to explain ourselves and call for help and support.

Four days ago a group of people most of whom did not belong to any specific organization or ideology got together in Istanbul’s Gezi Park. Among them there were many of my friends and students.  Their reason was simple: To prevent and protest the upcoming demolishing of the park for the sake of building yet another shopping mall at very center of the city. There are numerous shopping malls in Istanbul, at least one in every neighborhood! The tearing down of the trees was supposed to begin early Thursday morning. People went to the park with their blankets, books and children. They put their tents down and spent the night under the trees.  Early in the morning when the bulldozers started to pull the hundred-year-old trees out of the ground, they stood up against them to stop the operation.

They did nothing other than standing in front of the machines.

No newspaper, no television channel was there to report the protest. It was a complete media black out.

But the police arrived with water cannon vehicles and pepper spray.  They chased the crowds out of the park.

In the evening the number of protesters multiplied. So did the number of police forces around the park. Meanwhile local government of Istanbul shut down all the ways leading up to Taksim square where the Gezi Park is located. The metro was shut down, ferries were cancelled, roads were blocked.

Yet more and more people made their way up to the center of the city by walking.

They came from all around Istanbul. They came from all different backgrounds, different ideologies, different religions. They all gathered to prevent the demolition of something bigger than the park:

The right to live as honorable citizens of this country.

They gathered and marched. Police chased them with pepper spray and tear gas and drove their tanks over people who offered the police food in return. Two young people were run over by the panzers and were killed. Another young woman, a friend of mine, was hit in the head by one of the incoming tear gas canisters. The police were shooting them straight into the crowd.  After a three hour operation she is still in Intensive Care Unit and in  very critical condition. As I write this we don’t know if she is going to make it. This blog is dedicated to her.

These people are my friends. They are my students, my relatives. They have no «hidden agenda» as the state likes to say. Their agenda is out there. It is very clear. The whole country is being sold to corporations by the government, for the construction of malls, luxury condominiums, freeways, dams and nuclear plants. The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against its people’s will.

On top of all that, the government control over its people’s personal lives has become unbearable as of late. The state, under its conservative agenda passed many laws and regulations concerning abortion, cesarean birth, sale and use of alcohol and even the color of lipstick worn by the airline stewardesses.

People who are marching to the center of Istanbul are demanding their right to live freely and receive justice, protection and respect from the State. They demand to be involved in the decision-making processes about the city they live in.

What they have received instead is excessive force and enormous amounts of tear gas shot straight into their faces. Three people lost their eyes.

Yet they still march. Hundred of thousands join them. Couple of more thousand passed the Bosporus Bridge on foot to support the people of Taksim.

No newspaper or TV channel was there to report the events. They were busy with broadcasting news about Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”.

Police kept chasing people and spraying them with pepper spray to an extent that stray dogs and cats were poisoned and died by it.

Schools, hospitals and even 5 star hotels around Taksim Square opened their doors to the injured. Doctors filled the classrooms and hotel rooms to provide first aid. Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs. Around the square they placed jammers to prevent internet connection and 3g networks were blocked. Residents and businesses in the area provided free wireless network for the people on the streets. Restaurants offered food and water for free.

People in Ankara and ?zmir gathered on the streets to support the resistance in Istanbul.

Mainstream media kept showing Miss Turkey and “the strangest cat of the world”. ***

I am writing this letter so that you know what is going on in Istanbul. Mass media will not tell you any of this. Not in my country at least. Please post as many as articles as you see on the Internet and spread the word.

As I was posting articles that explained what is happening in Istanbul on my Facebook page last night someone asked me the following question:

«What are you hoping to gain by complaining about our country to foreigners?»

This blog is my answer to her.

By so called «complaining» about my country I am hoping to gain:

Freedom of expression and speech,

Respect for human rights,

Control over the decisions I make concerning my on my body,

The right to legally congregate in any part of the city without being considered a terrorist.

But most of all by spreading the word to you, my friends who live in other parts of the world, I am hoping to get your awareness, support and help!

Please spread the word and share this blog.

Thank you!

ZenGardner.com welcomes differing viewpoints and thought provoking opinions that add value to the discussion. For the interest of the community and a healthy conversation, please refrain from posting attacks and offensive content. Inappropriate comments and spam will not be published.

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  1. Key point ( The government is looking for (and creating when necessary) any excuse to attack Syria against its people’s will.)
    And theirs a little push from the 6 pointed star , that is been going on now string the pot 24/7/365

  2. Ooooohhhh, you darling Stardust (we are all -made of- stardust and us who know I call Stardust : ) )) stir up as much Istanbul earth (star-)dust as ever possible. This very scenario has happened before in a major Capitol; Stockholm,Sweden 42 yeras ago in a park right in the heart of the City, called Kungstradgarden. A group ef old old elm were doomed to be takn down. We,the People of sweden went together and said NO!…. protesting wild!!!! If you click up this website you will see a photo taken from that event! http://www.alternativstad.nu/almarna11maj.html
    GOOG LUCK /GOD LUCK! :) Make a stink to the far corners of the Earth.Let ALL the Stardust peoples on the Earth know how stupid and ignorant thos who want to put up yet another Mall are. But when talking to them pleed to intelligence and ability to love Nature as being the true source and sustainer of (human) life on this Planet and how good it is that Turkey is a frontrunner in protecting Natuer’s right to be (itself) Keep us posted, please! Much Love and support to you all!

    • SOLIDARITY! we are all together now. every innovation we create becomes a two edged sword. this net connection we share spreads truth as well as propaganda. truth talks, B—S— walks. when we are united enough to feel safe in our solidarity, trust that we will come to each others’ aid when the spark ignites and when enough refuse to pay up (taxes) that are used against ourselves and others, when we refuse to bear arms against each other, whomever & anywhere ever ………..that’s when we know we are on the other side of this nightmare, that’s when we will know we have Won. the disease is not just out there; our power is restored when we realized it dwells in us as well.

      • Yes–musing on that tonight together – techno infringement on really a very simple encounter here on earth tells us a lot…we’ll “get back to where we once belonged”…ha!

  3. “Some police officers refused to spray innocent people with tear gas and quit their jobs.”

    I salute you, ex-police officers!!

      • It’s a start though. I’ve been waiting for the time when the police and military with a conscience will start to object, refuse and join forces with what and who is right.

        • yes…like the military laying down their guns and going home. An earth shaking natural planetary event would do that, might be what Cosmo has planned for us…we seem to need the 2 X 4 as a race…

        • Some of those thugs in uniform would probably turn on a sixpence if they got a sniff of what it really means to be a hero, and if dippy women stopped repeating that they find men in uniforms ‘sexy’. Uni-forms are used to rob the person of personality and individuality. Sexy? C’mon… Real men won’t be told what to do and will wear what they like.

  4. I’ve been following this sick and twisted behavior since it started.


    The “lady in the red dress” picture can now hang next to the “girl in the blue bra”

    “It’s amazing what a little pepper spray will do for you”
    ~Dorli Rainey (84 y o pepper sprayed at OWS seattle – My Hero!)

    How much more are we going to take? I remember years ago going downtown to a protest. The popo’s out numbered the protestors. Check out the officer on the balcony taking pictures of us in case we caused any damage. http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/ctnj.php/archives/entry/hartford_protests_bush_administration/

    • wow–good one – it’s always important to see who and what sparks these events…but damn, they’re the same everywhere, the police have all the US fascist control equipment and mentality–whatta scourge!

      • Yeah, seems like the leaders get extra points on the scorecard for civil unrest and more depending on injuries and casualties. Local police have been showing off their new federally funded equipment. Yay! Makes me all warm and feeling so secure. ;-).

  5. These protests are all funded by Zmerican Zionist NGO’s in Turkey to put pressure on Erdogan to attack Syria.

    Before the donkeys jump on me and scream “We want our rights, we want freedom, Erodgan is bad!! blah blah”

    Let me say a few things

    1. Erdogan is a FILTHY Zionist PIG who has been doing the dirty work of Israel to win their favors and launch a new Ottoman Empire. He is filthy and deserves the worst possible fate YES.

    2. Erodgan saw that Syria got the S-300 missiles from Russia and knows that his fighters are cooked if they attack Syria so now he is getting cold feet about attacking the righteous Bashar AlAsad.

    3. The USA and ISrael love to put pressure on leaders who don’t bend over far enough. They are now doing this to Erodogan.

    So what should a thinking politically aware Turk do ?

    #1. Come out in SUPPORT for Bashar Al Assad and Against WAR!!!!!!

    #2. Call out Erdogan as a Zionist puppet wanting to drag Turkey into WAR for Israel.

    #3. Say Erodogan and anyone who wants to takes us to war against Syria deserves to go. If Erdogan says no war then he can stay… at least till you find a replacement.

    Anti war must be the theme otherwise the zionist NGO’s will turn this into a pressure ploy on Erodgan and get their war. Call out Israel as the cause and defend Assad, that way you will see who the real shills are.

    Do this Turkey or you will end up like Egypt. Look at them now, lost, dazed and starving. This will be you unless you wise up!

      • thanks Mr. Crackers.

        You are a hardcore thinker on the geo political level. that’s awesome and what we need. your videos are awesome, if we had one stressing this point it might help all the lost souls who are missing the point on this, as the comments here show.

        Egypt needed a Peek Crackers too, sadly all they got were some dudes flinging rocks.

  6. Yes but Americans are easily cowed by government thugs more often then not side with them as they did in Boston. Bbut Americans think they are better than the rest of the world so they can bomb anyone they feel like for Israel’s sake.

  7. Little Momma ~ the best video. The police are horrible. But the people – they are so awesome. Thanks for sharing.

    • I loved when they worked together to tear apart the street and pile up the rocks to keep police vehicles from getting down the road towards the park. We have to remember powerful we are, especially together. ;-). My heart has been with them for days for sure.

  8. I wish you all great luck and we hope you can overcome your oppressive government. I hope others begin to stand with you and dismantle the corrupt government who favour corporations over people

  9. My friend,

    We are all now totally subject to the will of corporate interests. If we refuse, the corporations have the governments and military to back them. It is criminal conduct global in its scope. Apathy parallels ignorance in its vastness. Fortunately we have folks like you shedding light upon the world. Thank you and your people for your action and service. Many payers and blessings, from my family to yours.

  10. It was a tiny spark that started this, and now look. The violence, death, pain, anger….sigh. What does it take for people to just listen to each other and try to find a reasonable solution for everyone. All it takes is listening and a little compromise on all sides. Yeah, frigging right, Carla! In utopia. Have another drink of unicorn piss and call it a day. Why can’t we all just get along?!

    • Unicorn Piss ? you mix that or just straight up ? .. This has been going on much longer then what we know and the Rucks know that the puppet government wants to rail road the people into a war with Syria.
      Is there a Brand that you like of that Unicorn urine ,” White Horny poker malt” or ” winged & hung , extra dry .

    • M2m, I definitely feel like there is always something behind all the uprisings. Turkey citizens were already angered by many other things, the park was a spark. And yes, it goes deeper than that. It always does. Nothing is as simple as what we see on the surface. Thanks for that view.

      • Yes–even if something starts off genuinely forces are in place worldwide to steer anything, be it govt or opposition or what have you. I posted this article as a genuine heart cry to put a human face of the desperation and terrible suffering being perpetrated there and in many other parts of the world.

  11. Everywhere it’s the same – people resisting the encroaching “plantation earth” paradigm. I’ll die on my feet before I live on my knees. The cockroaches that scurry behind the scenes to manipulate these unconscionable atrocities against the rest of humanity are going to find the descending heels they richly deserve soon enough.

  12. wow – police state alive and well in Turkey… but i guess no surprise here either…. nothing like the freedom of speech to get this out to the world …. good luck – keep going

  13. NO sane person can swallow the lie that all this started because a bunch of people wanted to protect a couple of trees from being cut, period.

    • While I deeply feel for the Turkish people, I also think that it’s obviously neither the trees, nor another “bad islamic ruler”, or the basic excuse “it’s all for the sake of profit and control”. Those are side-effects, and the controlling police state is just a tool for a clearly much bigger worldwide geostrategic agenda taking place.

      To that effect, here’s a muslim perspective on current world events, a very valid and awakened point of view, worth taking into consideration imho.
      and more here:
      Please do yourself a favor and don’t discard it prejudicially as all-the-same “organised religion BS”.
      This brave and wise old man really knows what he’s talking about. An eye opener, politically and spiritually. Each one teach one. Peace :)

  14. Thanks for the update and more power to the Turkish people who have had enough of yet another oppressive Zionist backed regime. Go Turks!

  15. Bless those police officers who refused to spray innocent people (see indigoviolet’s comment here above) The more We the People get the polismen to understand whom nd what they are paid to protect and defend in reality, though We the People are lulled to belive the crappy lie that the Police is there to protect us. Not true…. but when the individual polismen start to see the truth the decepiton, that’s when thet discretely start acting on our side of the fence. When enough great number of policemen do so the game is ours!…. I really believe so.

  16. I agree with wad. Let the social media inform the activists what wad says so succinctly, and the young citizens will take back their country from the Zionist neo-cons. I visited beautiful Istanbul 10 years ago, and wished I had been born there instead of in Canada. I proudly posted this blogger’s news on my blog.

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