31 May 2013
This is our Tahrir.
Friday evening. This is probably the busiest street of Ankara at this time of the week. It’s busy today, too — not with traffic, but with thousands of demonstrators.
On the surface, everything has only to do with a public park, which is slated to be demolished to build a shopping mall. Over the last couple of days, hundreds of people had been resisting the demolition in Istanbul.
Very quickly, however, Gezi Park in Taksim, Istanbul, and its trees sentenced to be uprooted became a perfect catalyst for standing up against Turkey’s oligarchy. And the oligarchy understood it quite well. Turkey’s AKP — the latest avatar of Turkey’s at-least-60-year-old fascism — still enjoy around a 50% electoral support according to polls, but they nevertheless cannot make a concession, even one that might be very much beneficial for them. They can’t. They believe that, if they take one step back, it will be seen as a great proof that they will be defeated if resisted. The top secret of all reactionary powers!
So far, hundreds of people have been injured. At hospitals, there are MPs with broken arms, teachers with broken legs, and journalists with broken heads because of tear gas canisters aimed and shot directly at human beings. And they are shooting tear gas into hospitals as well. The central metro station of the biggest city in Turkey (with Olympic ambitions) was turned into a huge gas chamber after police closed all exits and threw tear gas bombs inside. Many have been taken into police custody. There are even rumors about people who have been killed or whose limbs have been amputated because of police attacks.
The massive tortures and homicides of dissidents, especially socialist and Kurdish ones, in Turkey are an open secret. Turkish prisons have been an excellent laboratory for all fascist tactics. They made the first trials of this type of tear gas use on prisoners in the early 2000s. During those operations dozens of revolutionary prisoners were killed. Now they are using the fruits of their experiments on virtually everyone, since people from all sectors of society are pouring into Taksim Square, including football fan groups. Some of the protesters today may have once thought that the state was actually fighting against terrorism when revolutionary prisoners and Uludere/Roboskî villagers were being brutally killed. Now it’s clear to all that the Turkish state doesn’t leave a single section of society out of its scope of violence for the sake of protecting the interests of capitalists only. A textbook fascism!
Tonight in Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir thousands of people will be in the streets. They will be attacked all night, as they already are. Turkey’s media, on the other hand, are broadcasting a beauty contest. Today they even broadcasted a lottery game show from the 1970s to avoid mentioning Taksim Square. On Twitter there is a special TT dedicated to them: #KORKAKMEDYA — meaning “Coward Media.”
Throughout the day there were 6 to 7 TTs related to the resistance in Turkey, some of which became world trends. The most common hashtag for supporting the resistance, however, is #OccupyGezi.
We occupy, they invade, damn the fascist raid!
Follow Barış Yıldırım on Twitter @prometeatro and @yazilama.