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Brick wrote (edited )

What is Gezi park looking like today? Did your resistance thwart Erdogan's development plans at all?

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

It's the same before the resistance happened. So far his plans seem to be thwarted and he doesn't seem to touch the subject with a ten foot pole except for condemning the protesters ;)

Honestly I still love to go to that park and sit on a bench to smell the fresh air of victory :P

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ziq wrote

What is the state of the anarchist movement in Turkey today? Did the Gezi uprising help spread anarchy in the population?

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

There are two groups I know in Istanbul and Ankara. And also two cafes in Istanbul that are collectively owned by anarchists. Also there are high school anarchist groups that seem somewhat popular.

I think it helped to get people disillusioned in the government in a way. People (including me) saw what the media can hide from public as much of the protests weren't even televised. Then a sentiment grew among people: Imagine what the government is hiding in south east Turkey, we can't know what's happening because we always heard about it from the government's point of view.

I think it was helpful in that sense.

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chaos wrote

How did the protests get broken up? Did most protesters leave the park after the cops burned all your tents and possessions?

What do you think could have been done differently, to prevent the uprising from being crushed by Erdogan's forces?

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

Actually burning of tents and possessions led to the protests at first. Then the crowd in the park kept growing until police forces left the park alone for some days.

I think the uprising was crushed because people wasn't ready for such an event. We knew that we had the park now but then what? A representative group wanted the government to stop the building of a new airport and a bridge (since they were deemed destructive for the environment) but when the demands were rejected we had no idea nor courage to do something else. I think one of the reasons for this is that the apolitical culture in the youth of Turkey after the 1980 coup and the conflict between right and left groups. Families were afraid of political activity after that so most of us are raised apolitical.

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theblackcat wrote

As protests continued in early June, tear gas was used so extensively that many residents of central Istanbul had to keep windows closed even in the heat of summer, or use respirators and then struggle to decontaminate homes of tear gas residue. Police even water cannoned a man in a wheelchair. The Turkish Doctors' Association said that by 15 June, over 11,000 people had been treated for tear gas exposure, and nearly 800 for injuries caused by tear gas cartridges. On the weekend of 15 June, police action escalated significantly. Police were seen adding Jenix Pepper Spray to their water cannons, and the Istanbul Doctors Association later said that there was "a high but an unknown number of first and second-degree burn injuries because of some substance mixed in pressurised water cannons". On the night of 15/16 June police repeatedly tear-gassed the lobby of the Divan Istanbul hotel, where protesters had taken refuge, causing a pregnant woman to miscarry. They also water-cannoned and tear gassed the Taksim German Hospital.

Doctors and medical students organised first aid stations. In some cases the stations and medical personnel were targeted by police with tear gas, and one medical student volunteer was left in intensive care after being beaten by police, despite telling them that he was a doctor trying to help. Medical volunteers were also arrested. "[Police] are now patrolling the streets at night and selectively breaking ground-floor windows of apartments and throwing tear gas into people's homes. They have been joined by groups of AKP sympathisers with baseball bats." One volunteer medic working at a tent in Taksim Square said that "They promised us that they would not attack our field hospital, but they did anyway, firing six rounds of teargas directly into our tent."

Lawyers were also targeted by police. On 11 June at least 20 lawyers gathering at the Istanbul Çağlayan Justice Palace to make a press statement about Gezi Park were detained by police, including riot police. The arrests of total 73–74 lawyers were described as "very brutal and anti-democratic" by one lawyer present, with many injured: "They even kicked their heads, the lawyers were on the ground. They were hitting us they were pushing. They built a circle around us and then they attacked."

There were also reports of journalists being targeted by police, and a Russian journalist "beaten and detained by suspected Turkish intelligence services, as he was taking pictures of empty police cars on Taksim Square". The New York Times reported on 16 June that "One foreign photographer documenting the clashes Saturday night said a police officer had torn his gas mask off him while in a cloud of tear gas, and forced him to clear his memory card of photographs." Reporters without Borders reported eight journalists arrested, some violently, and several forced to delete photographs from their digital cameras.

Wow. Do the Turkish people even know about any of this, or did the media suppress the whole thing? Do people generally like cops there?

A spokesman for the police union Emniyet-Sen said poor treatment of officers by the police was partly to blame for the violence: "Fatigue and constant pressure lead to inattentiveness, aggression and a lack of empathy. It's irresponsible to keep riot police on duty for such long hours without any rest."

lol. Police unions need to be abolished.

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

Wow. Do the Turkish people even know about any of this, or did the media suppress the whole thing? Do people generally like cops there?

Media supressed a lot of it but at one point it became impossible to not say anything so they showed it in a negative light :) As the prime minister famously remarked: "All bus stops were destroyed and the precious ceramics were broken" :'(

Some people know but think that they are looters and "anarchists". Other people think that the protests harmed the infrastracture, raised the dollar (rolling my eyes), and harmed local business... It's clear that they don't care much about people or rights and they only care about themselves and their pseudo-islamic government.

And actually statism is strong in many parts of Turkish society so they think of cops as the force that protects us and the state.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

I'm five minutes in to the video to re-aquaint myself with a lot of what happened - thanks, it's a good one.

Wikipedia shows a map dividing up the occupation by groups here - do you think this is accurate and how do you think people being divided in this way affected the space and its successes and failures?

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

Hmm actually I was not affiliated with any groups but it seems correct about the groups north of the building 9 (Castle). Because I'm pretty sure I saw the Kurdish group where they're marked on the map and also I bought an anarchist newspaper from the anarchist stand north of 9 :D

I can't really say if that contributed to successes and failures of the movement because I wasn't part of any group. But I think the fact that the majority of people weren't part of any group may have hurt the resistance because it was hard to decide and do something. I think that really proves that it's important to get organized.

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Tequila_Wolf wrote

Cool. I appreciate this kind of answer. Sounds like it was a good experience to be there.

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

Sounds like it was a good experience to be there.

It's really one of the things I'm proud of in my life. And it was the first time I was in ANY kind of protest :P

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BlackFlagged wrote

Would you say nationalism is very common in Turkey compared to elsewhere?

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote (edited )

Well yeah I think so. I think it has to do with trauma from a collapsed empire coupled with fear/hatred of Turks in Europe. Turks can get into defensive mentality easily. If someone complains about dirty streets of Istanbul, so to speak, I can see people getting offended about it.

Edit: Also maybe something from the past as well, Turks value their states both in the past and right now. State is considered somewhat sacred. It's a common saying in Turkey: "Turks have no friends but themselves".

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arduinna wrote

Do you have a perspective on the insurgency in the Southeast? I don't often hear any left-wing views of it out of Turkey itself.

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Solidarity1312 OP wrote

As a resident of Western Turkey; I don't support PKK. Their history and their tactics are oppressive as far as I'm concerned. In the past they killed teachers, kidnapped construction workers and raided villages. Of course I won't defend past atrocities against Kurdish populace but I find it hard to support an organization that employs such methods.

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