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Turkish police use tear gas to disperse protest against new internet controls

RT | February 8, 2014

Turkish police have fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse crowds of protesters rallying against “draconian” internet laws approved by parliament.

Police approached the crowd along Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue and fired water cannons from behind armored vehicles as protesters tried to march to the city’s main square.

“Everywhere is bribery, everywhere is corruption,” protesters chanted.

As riot police fired water cannons at protesters, some of them responded by throwing stones or setting off fireworks aimed at law enforcement officers.

The new bill was passed late Wednesday by the parliament dominated by the Erdogan’s AKP party.

If the president approves the legislation, it would give authorities the power to block web pages without a court order within just hours.

It would also require internet service providers (ISPs) to store data on their clients’ online activities for two years and provide it to the authorities on request.

However, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected any possibility that the regulations would allow authorities to have access to internet users’ personal information.

“Never. It is out of the question that people’s private data will be recorded,” he said in Istanbul on Saturday.

The opposition says the move is part of a government bid to stifle a corruption scandal and accuses the government of limiting Internet freedoms.

Erdogan denies accusations of censorship, saying the legislation would make the internet “more safe and free.”

“These regulations do not impose any censorship at all on the Internet … On the contrary, they make it safer and freer,” he said.

Prepared by the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the bill provoked mass rallies in mid-January, shortly after it was announced. The protest was dispersed by riot police who used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of opponents of the bill.

The bill amends Law No. 5651, widely known as Turkey’s Internet Law that came into effect in July 2007.

February 8, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkish police fire water cannon at rally against ‘Internet censorship’ law


RT | January 18, 2014

Police used water cannon and fired teargas to disperse hundreds of protesters that gathered in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square on Saturday for a rally calling against a bill that would tighten government control over the Internet.

Protesters ran to the side streets to escape the water cannons and teargas that police used on the peaceful demonstration.

Smaller rallies have been held around Turkey including the capital Ankara and coastal city of Izmir.

In Ankara about 300 protesters gathered chanting slogans opposing the government and the internet bill, calling the Turkish prime minister ‘a dictator.’

Activists have called for protests against the law further limiting the use of the Internet and social media. The campaign is circulating the internet with the hashtag #sansüredurde (#StopInternetCensorshipinTurkey).

The bill that includes the controversial law was adopted on Thursday. It gives the courts power to remove material that “violates individual rights” from the internet. People will be able to apply to the state Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) as well as the courts to block any websites.

Under the new law 26 government officials in Turkey can also block access to information online by a personal decree. These include the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his cabinet and other officials.

Critics argued that the law will enhance monitoring internet user’s activities and will allow officials to limit keywords, local Hurriyet daily reported. The newspaper added that the head of TİB will now be given enough authority to directly limit access, pending a court ruling.

January 18, 2014 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Leave a comment

Turkish court cancels plan to redevelop Istanbul’s Taksim Square

Press TV – July 3, 2013

A Turkish court has blocked a redevelopment project for Istanbul’s Taksim Square after the country was rocked by four weeks of anti-government protests.

The court ruling is seen as a big blow to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had strongly backed the project, but is also seen as a victory for the opposition that has been staging nationwide rallies against it.

Istanbul has been the epicenter of anti-government demonstrations since May 31, when the police broke up a sit-in staged at Taksim Square to protest against the redevelopment plan which involved the demolition of Gezi Park.

The Turkish protesters said Gezi Park, which is a traditional gathering point for rallies and demonstrations as well as a popular tourist destination, is one of Istanbul’s last public green spaces.

The protests soon spread to other cities across the country and turned into calls for the resignation of the Turkish prime minister.

Several people have been killed in the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters, who Erdogan has described as foreign-backed extremists and terrorists.

Last week, Turkish artists, journalists, and authors placed full-page advertisements in several newspapers, asking Erdogan to stop using divisive language.

On June 24, Erdogan praised the “legendary heroism” of police forces in quelling anti-government protests.

The Turkish prime minister has faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis. Turkish police have been also strongly criticized for using excessive force against the peaceful protests.

July 3, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Turkish court cancels plan to redevelop Istanbul’s Taksim Square

Turkey announces plans ‘for gas’ and cyber security in face of Gezi protests

RT | June 20, 2013

Turkey has announced plans to purchase 100,000 gas bomb cartridges and launch a central cyber security agency, local media report. This comes after protests across the country which also saw a series of attacks on government websites.

The order for the 100,000 new cartridges will be accompanied by an order for 60 water cannon vehicles, the daily local newspaper Milliyet reported, also stating that the excessive use of gas bomb cartridges meant that Turkish riot police used up some 130,000 units across the space of a mere 20 days.

The protests began in Istanbul, but nationwide demonstrations shortly followed suit, drawing thousands in support of the Gezi Park protesters suffering brutal police repressions. In one of the instances, a horrifying video emerged of a man in a wheelchair being fired at by a similar [water canon] vehicle on June 11.

“The excessive use of force by the police has turned this issue into a security one,” said Galip Dalay, a research assistant with the SETA foundation.

At the same time, Turkish Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications Binali Yildirim announced the formation of a new cyber security agency on Thursday. He declared “The Center for Response to National Cyber Threats,” (or USOM) was to be founded on the grounds that cyber-attacks during the Gezi Park protests were a global threat and “likely to increase.”

At the beginning of June, Anonymous hacking group launched #OpTurkey, which took down the Turkish President’s website, along with that of the country’s ruling party, in support of anti-government protests.

Another mid-June attack on over 225 tourist, library, and private business websites was blamed on Kurdish group ColdHackers.

On Thursday, Turkish hacker group Redhack claimed responsibility for all tweets relating to the Gezi protests after the launching of an investigation into some 5 million Gezi Park tweets was announced by the AKP (Justice and Development Party).

“We have posted all tweets and hacked thousands of people’s computers. Don’t take on the innocent ones, we are here,” Redhack wrote on its Twitter account, going on to say that any accounts that appeared to play a role in the organization of resistance were to re-tweet their message, and those that did had been hacked by the group.

Following the claim of responsibility, Twitter users began to announce that they were hacked by Redhack using the hashtag #wewerehackedbyredhack.

After 29 people’s houses were raided and they were subsequently detained for tweets related to the protests on June 5, the group recommended that “users can tell the police that their account was hacked by Redhack. We would take the blame with pleasure.”

Social media activists had been accused of using Twitter to “instigate public hatred and animosity,” according to Turkish media.

PM Erdogan even blamed social media for the unrest stating “there is now a menace which is called Twitter,” in the midst of the upheaval, dismissing the protests as being organized by extreme societal elements. “The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society,” he said.

Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım stressed however on June 19 that the government was working to “fight against cyber-crime, not to regulate social media,” with Deputy PM Bülent Arınç adding that people were free to communicate on social media but should be deterred from encouraging crime or violence.

As the protests have continued to draw support across the country, the Turkish government has used increasingly retaliatory measures against anyone involved in protests, culminating in threats to deploy the armed forces on Tuesday, the day after using tear gas and water cannons to disperse Monday’s demonstrators. Over 130 were arrested on Thursday alone, and six people have died to date as a result of the unrest, which is not scaling down despite authorities halting proposed renovations of Gezi Park.

“They’ve left branches hanging off trees and water and debris all over the streets” said RT’s Tom Barton in Ankara on Thursday.

Peaceful demonstrations began on May 28 when a group of environmentalists gathered together to campaign against the proposed development of a shopping mall in Istanbul neighborhood’s only remaining park – Gezi Park – next to Taksim Square. The violent suppression after Erdogan announced that he had already made his decision motivated thousands nationwide to display their solidarity.

June 21, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , | Comments Off on Turkey announces plans ‘for gas’ and cyber security in face of Gezi protests

Erdogan at Home: Yes to Oppression, No to Rights

By Doha Shams | Al-Akhbar | June 18, 2013

Since the start of the protests and ensuing unrest in Turkey, a peculiar tradition has emerged in Istanbul. As the soon as the clock strikes 9 pm, a chorus of percussion – banging pots and pans – emanates from open windows in “pro-opposition” buildings. The cacophony lasts for about half an hour, sometimes more, depending on the day’s events. Its purpose: to show solidarity with the protesters in Taksim Square.

Istanbul – Aznur returned from the dentist disappointed and worried. She had an appointment, but the clinic was closed. She was not sure if this had something to do with the general strike called by Turkey’s trade unions.

The young woman, in her twenties, stood bemused, her face still swollen from yesterday’s tear gas. She then mumbled, “Maybe he is still detained. He was protesting with us last night.”

Though Aznur’s English is broken, this is nonetheless a “great achievement” in Turkey, where few people go on to master any foreign languages. In truth, the language barrier has made on-location coverage difficult for those who want to understand events beyond the news agencies.

Five Turkish trade unions declared the strike following the brutal police crackdown on protesters, which has claimed the lives of four activists and injured thousands since the protests began. Yesterday alone, 600 protesters were detained throughout Turkey, according to a source in the Turkish Bar Association who declined to be named.

The trade unions’ move also signals their rejection of the policies of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Such policies have started to infringe alarmingly on individual freedoms, as many young men and women have told us.

Serttaş, a 30-year-old physical therapist, said, “Does Erdogan think Turkey is Gaza? The municipality of Ankara prohibited men and women from holding hands in public places and public transportation! Who does he think he is? All that is left for him to do is come with me to the bathroom! And why would he ban the sale of alcohol after 10 pm? I don’t understand.”

“We are here defending our way of life,” he added.

Yesterday was a momentous day. The repression of unarmed, peaceful protesters was unparalleled for a country not at war. Perhaps the explanation for Erdogan’s ham-fisted approach lies in his fear of catching the “Arab Spring” bug.

In its crackdown on the protesters, the government used a new type of tear gas, which could be a misnomer since the gas is blinding, as we were told by medical sources who said that 17 people have lost their sight because of the gas. The government has also shut down all communications, Internet access, and public transport like the subway and taxis. On top of it all, he has cut off power from Taksim Square to deter protesters from coming to the site.

These measures paralyzed the touristic capital. Thousands of tourists were stranded. We were able to spot some lost in the streets, unable to find their way back to their hotels.

We saw a Japanese tourist standing in front of a clerk at the bus station in Findikli Station on the Bosphorus. “I have a question,” she tried to tell the clerk. He looked at her said, “Yok yok” – Turkish for “there isn’t,” as in there isn’t anything operating. The tourist asked again, “Bus? Tram?”

“Bus yok, metro yok,” the clerk replied, making hand gestures to mimic someone walking. The girl, not quite sure what to do, followed his advice.

I, too, was stranded after witnessing the dispersal of a protest near Taksim using tear gas, water cannons, and batons. I ran away from the terrible smell in the direction of the waterfront along with some protesters. There, I encountered staggering traffic along the Bosphorus.

I learned afterwards that the legendary traffic was caused by Erdogan’s supporters, who came in from the Turkish provinces to meet his call to rally in the neighborhood of Zeytinburnu, where Erdogan delivered his speech.

“Most people left before Erdogan finished half of his speech,” a man in his fifties told us from where was he standing, in front of his café. I glanced at the Turkish television inside that was broadcasting Erdogan’s speech, and I saw the flag of the Syrian opposition.

During my long wait at the waterfront, I saw many large buses packed with women wearing the headscarf, and crammed taxis. Traffic was at a standstill. We asked one taxi after another, “Osmanbey?” to which the unanimous answer was “Kapali, kapali,” meaning “it’s closed.” The police reinforcements had closed it down.

Nearly an hour later, when Erdogan’s speech was over, traffic suddenly started rolling. In a matter of minutes, the street was completely empty, as though someone had blocked it at a faraway spot. I heard chants in the distance, and soon thereafter, a few-hundred-strong protest arrived in the area. Clearly, they came to protest against what Erdogan said during his speech.

Most of the protesters are young and middle class. There even are claims that most of the protesters are taking to the streets for the first time. Almost everyone was wearing a gas mask or goggles.

They looked at the choppers flying overhead and waved their fists at them in a challenging gesture. Passing boats in the Bosphorus sounded their horns, and people banged pots on balconies or applauded.

Şenol, a 40-year-old man who took part in the protests, said, “I do not blame the poor for backing Erdogan. They do not know their rights. They think that the handouts of the Justice and Development Party are something good. They don’t understand that his economic policies impoverish them.”

He continued, “Erdogan fools them with religious slogans while he sells public property, and expands the circle of cronies of businessmen and the nouveau riche. One day, they will understand. We too voted for him thinking he would rid us of the military, but he is worse than them.”

The time is nearly 8 pm. The sky is overcast. I tried to contact friends, but the phone lines are broken. Smartphones weren’t so smart either, because the Internet had been shut down.

Istanbul was nearly choking because of the fires and toxic gases that poisoned the air. Scores of hotel reservations and trips have been cancelled, much to the chagrin of workers who depend on tourism to make a living.

The clashes in Taksim and neighboring quarters continued throughout Saturday and Sunday. Street battles near the Osmanbey metro station led to a major confrontation on Sunday shortly after 4 pm.

It rained heavily, flash-flooding Istanbul’s streets. The rain washed away the toxic air, and forced some police officers to retreat. The protesters also took advantage of the rain to flee to their homes and wait for the next round of protests tomorrow.

June 18, 2013 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Erdogan at Home: Yes to Oppression, No to Rights

Police Arrest over 100, Raid Media Offices in Turkey

Al-Manar | June 18, 2013

Turkish police detained dozens of people at their homes and raided two media offices on Tuesday in a coordinated operation across the country to clamp down on nearly three weeks of mass anti-government unrest, AFP reported.

Officers raided the homes of around 90 members of the Socialist Party of the Oppressed (ESP), a small leftist group that has been active in Istanbul’s Gezi Park protest at the centre of the nationwide protest movement, the Istanbul bar association said.

Police also searched the offices of the Atilim daily and the Etkin news agency, local media outlets linked to the ESP group, the NTV and CNN-Turk television stations reported.

NTV said 30 people were arrested in the capital Ankara and another 13 in the northwestern city of Eskisehir in a police swoop targeting 21 provinces overall.

June 18, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance | , , , , , | Comments Off on Police Arrest over 100, Raid Media Offices in Turkey

Turkish Unions Protest Erdogan Crackdown, Announce Strike

Al-Manar | June 17, 2013

Two of Turkey’s main trade unions started a nationwide strike on Monday after police cleared protests from Istanbul protest park.

The KESK and DISK trade unions, who together represent hundreds of thousands of workers, called a one-day stoppage to object to the police violence against anti-government protesters, and said they planned to hold demos in the late afternoon.

“Our demand is for police violence to end immediately,” KESK spokesman Baki Cinar told AFP, adding that the unions would be joined by striking engineers, dentists and doctors.

Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler condemned the stoppage as “illegal” and warned strikers not to take to the streets, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his crackdown on Gezi Park, the epicenter of the protest movement.

Riot police were still firing volleys of tear gas and water at pockets of demonstrators in Istanbul and the capital Ankara early on Monday, after a weekend of clashes sparked by the eviction of protesters occupying Gezi Park.

Nearly 600 people were arrested in the scuffles on Sunday alone, according to the Ankara and Istanbul bar associations.

The weekend violence has intensified a crisis that poses the biggest challenge yet to Erdogan’s decade-long rule.

At a rally of more than 100,000 supporters of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Sunday, the premier insisted it was his “duty” to order police to storm Gezi Park after protesters defied his warnings to clear out.

“I said we were at an end. That it was unbearable. Yesterday the operation was carried out and it was cleaned up,” a combative Erdogan told a sea of flag-waving loyalists. “It was my duty as prime minister.”

Erdogan’s words were met with roaring approval from the audience, the largest crowd to assemble since the crisis began. Many chanted: “The people are here, where are the looters?”, using Erdogan’s description of the demonstrators.

At the same time, riot police were fighting running battles with thousands of protesters determined to regroup after being ousted from Gezi Park and the adjoining Taksim Square, a mere 10 kilometers (six miles) away from the AKP rally.

Turkey’s political turmoil first began when a peaceful sit-in to save Gezi Park’s 600 trees from being razed prompted a brutal police response on May 31, spiralling into countrywide demonstrations against Erdogan.

The crisis has claimed four lives and injured nearly 7,500 people so far, according to the Turkish Medical Association.

June 17, 2013 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , | Comments Off on Turkish Unions Protest Erdogan Crackdown, Announce Strike

Turkey will consider protesters staying at Taksim terrorists, official says

Press TV – June 16, 2013

Turkey’s European Union minister has warned that Turkish police will consider protesters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square as members or supporters of terrorist groups.

“I request our citizens who supported the protests until today kindly to return to their homes,” Egemen Bagis said in a late Saturday interview with Turkish channel A Haber.

“From now on the state will unfortunately have to consider everyone who remains there a supporter or member of a terror organization,” Bagis stated.

He went on to say that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan “has already assured [activists] about their aim with the protests. The protests from now on will play into the hands of some separatist organizations that want to break the peace and prioritize vandalism and terrorism.”

The unrest in Turkey erupted after police broke up a sit-in staged at Taksim Square on May 31 to protest against a government plan for the redevelopment of Gezi Park.

On Saturday night, Turkish police attacked anti-government protesters at Taksim, shortly after Erdogan ordered the demonstrators to evacuate the area.

Police also stormed the protest camp in Gezi Park, firing tear gas and using water cannons to disperse thousands of protesters defying the prime minister’s order to leave.

Several protesters have also been detained or wounded – some of them allegedly by rubber bullets.

Also on Saturday, Erdogan told the protesters that they would face the police if they did not leave Gezi Park.

“I say this very clearly: either Taksim Square is cleared, or if it isn’t cleared, then the security forces of this country will know how to clear it,” the Turkish prime minister said in a speech to his supporters in the Ankara suburb of Sincan.

The embattled premier said the demonstrations – which have been the largest street protests during his 10 years in power – were part of an organized plot against him.

However, the protesters have vowed to continue their campaign until their demands are met and the detained people are released.

The Turkish prime minister has faced international condemnation for his handling of the crisis. Turkish police have also been strongly criticized for using excessive force against the peaceful protests.

Five people, including a police officer, have reportedly died in the clashes and more than 5,000 protesters and 600 police officers have been wounded.

June 16, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , | Comments Off on Turkey will consider protesters staying at Taksim terrorists, official says

Turks Take to the Streets, but Erdogan Remains

By Hüsnü Mahalli | Al-Akhbar | June 3, 2013

Overnight, what was once a consensus on the stability of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government turned into a schism. The barrier of fear collapsed and demonstrations spread throughout the country, leading to clashes that left many injured. However, the “Sultan” remains, at least for now.

Istanbul – The bloody wave of clashes in Turkey over the past two days has raised many questions, from comprehending the Turkish government’s disproportionate reaction, to debating the possibility of a wider “Turkish Spring.”

The information is conflicting, but there is one constant: The barrier of fear that has protected Turkish PM Erdogan, who has exerted his authority over the entire country, has come tumbling down. Though the view prevails that Erdogan is still firmly in control, there is no denying that the events took everyone by surprise.

It is clear there is more to the issue. The transformation of a public square into a mall does not warrant hundreds of injuries and arrests, or people from 47 districts taking to the streets.

Erdogan blamed the Republican People’s Party (CHP) and its president Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. Yet there is no denying that the control and hegemony practiced by Erdogan, which by and large turned the private media into an official spokesperson for the government, is a large factor in the turnout.

The reason might also be Erdogan and his party’s interference in the private affairs of individuals, such as the recent decision to ban alcohol. Or it could be popular discontent with the Syrian issue, with some polls indicating that up to 80 percent are not happy with the situation.

Kılıçdaroğlu expressed it boldly. The government’s policy toward Syria is a threat to Turkey national and homeland security. Erdogan’s reply, as usual, was violent and provocative, accusing him of “supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because they are both Alawis.”

Some believe that Erdogan’s attack on Hezbollah and Iran is another reason behind the popular discontent with the prime minister. There are about 20 million Alawi Turks, albeit known to be the most ardent defenders of secularism in the country.

No matter what, Erdogan’s strength lies in the political, economic, and moral support of the US. Istanbul’s stock market has 66 percent foreign investment. What does that mean? It means that Erdogan, who has sold off almost all of the public sector, is now a hostage to this money and investment. If foreign investment declines, it will lead to an economic collapse, taking with it Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AKP) party.

The AKP came to power following an economic collapse. They remain in power due to economic “achievements.” It was interesting that in all this confusion, several Turkish, US, and British newspapers rooted their analyses in this framework. However, they differed about the outcomes.

Those who believed it was a Turkish Spring cited its causes in economic and cultural reasons, as well as fear of the Islamization of the state.

The Turkish press say that talk of a Turkish Spring is “exaggerated.” However, some Turkish pundits admitted that the current events are “a turning point in the sanctity of the image of Erdogan and his party.”

Nevertheless, the Turkish press agreed that the demonstrations “reveal the gap in the opinions of citizens and the view of the ruling AKP.”

June 3, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

What is Happening in Istanbul?

By İnsanlik Hali | defnesumanblogs | June 1, 2013

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 İzmir 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!

For futher info and things you can do for help please see Amnesty International’s Call for Urgent Help


Taken from Occupy Gezi Facebook page. Also used by Reuters

June 3, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , | 1 Comment

FM: Iran Hopes for Peaceful Settlement of Problems in Turkey

Fars News Agency | June 2, 2013

TEHRAN – The Iranian foreign ministry underlined the domestic nature of the current unrest in Turkey, and expressed the hope that the problems in the neighboring country will be solved by the Turkish officials’ tact and wide domestic diplomacy.

“The conflicts in Turkey are an internal issue and we hope that this problem will be solved calmly and peacefully by the Turkish leaders’ insight,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Araqchi told FNA on Sunday.

The protests in Turkey began earlier this week as a sit-in over plans to redevelop Gezi Park in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, but escalated after police used tear gas.

In Ankara, protesters tried to march on the parliament.

Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon for a second day on Saturday to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the central Taksim Square, scene of violent protests in which hundreds were wounded.

Anti-government demonstrators wearing handkerchiefs and surgical masks chanted “unite against fascism” and “government resign” as they tried to walk down the street to Taksim, a witness said.

Protesters also clashed with police in the Besiktas neighborhood, on the shores of the Bosphorus, after crossing a bridge in another apparent attempt to reach Taksim.

June 2, 2013 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Comments Off on FM: Iran Hopes for Peaceful Settlement of Problems in Turkey

Turkey’s Erdogan Gets Taste of His Own Medicine?

By Daniel McAdams | LRC | June 1, 2013

After nearly a week of increasing public protests in Turkey, ostensibly over government plans to turn a last bit of green space in Istanbul into another shopping mall, matters became far more serious on Friday. Riot police descended on the protestors with various forms of tear gas (and possibly worse chemical and biological agents — raw sewage?) and water cannon, blasting everyone and everything in sight including non-participants. When they caught protestors, they beat them violently and brutally, as can be seen in this video. Photographs show that police fired tear gas into crowded underground metro stations, leading to panic and worse. Istanbul looks like a war zone.

Today indications are that protests have only increased in number and fury in response to the violence with which they were met yesterday.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has come under increased criticism at home over his enthusiastic support for those fighting to overthrow the government in neighboring Syria. Turkish government support for the rebels came early and has included providing safe havens for the Islamist insurgents and safe passage into Syria from Libya, Yemen, and other countries of the insurgents’ origin.

Erdogan’s stated policy of “zero problems with neighbors” has been turned on its head by his support for the rebels fighting next door. Public dissatisfaction with the Turkish government’s policy of encouraging an Islamist insurgency next door has steadily increased.

The insurgents fighting the Syrian government were still unsatisfied by the level of support they received from their Turkish hosts and they took to false flag attacks in places like Reyhanli and a planned false-flag sarin gas attack on southern Turkey in Adana in attempt to provoke a Turkish (and NATO) military response against Syria.

Suddenly the tables are turned at home.

Faced with a nascent but growing protest movement of his own, Erdogan expresses a very different view toward the people in the street. The Prime Minister strongly supported the “Arab Spring” overthrow in Egypt and supports the overthrow of Assad next door because he said the leaders of these countries did not listen to their people. Just last week he met with President Obama and agreed that “Assad must go.” Now with protesters in Turkey chanting “Erdogan must go” he is singing a different tune. Now “the people” he claimed to speak for — on the streets in Egypt and Syria, at least — were, in Turkey, “with terror, have dark ties,” in his words.

Suddenly “the people” are not so noble when they are calling for his ouster. With the tables turned on Erdogan, he can only demand order! “I call on the protesters to stop their demonstrations immediately,” he thundered yesterday.

Erdogan caught the tiger by the tail and thought he would become a new Ottoman Sultan. Reality bites back hard on the streets of Istanbul and elsewhere. This is far from over.

June 1, 2013 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , | 2 Comments