Sunday, June 2, 2013

Turkey's Bloody Friday

Four days ago a group of people who 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.



In the midst of a media blackout during the protests in Turkey, disturbing video has surfaced of a government water cannon tank intentionally mowing down crowds of protesters.