Turkey: Another Night of Heavy Crackdowns
Posted by greydogg, 99GetSmart
Submitted by Turkish political analyst / blogger, Gürkan Özturan, from Istanbul:
Update from Turkey 23-06-13
Another night of heavy crackdowns took place in Turkey both in Istanbul and in Ankara. As protesters had declared another evening of commemoration for the ones who were killed by police violence, they had announced that everyone would gather in major squares with carnation flowers in their hands and nothing else. There were no flags, no banners, no masks, no homemade medication this time. Thousands approached squares with carnations in their hands and there was a press conference before the ceremony. All those killed during the protests were remembered with their names, including the policeman who fell off a bridge when chasing protesters.
After an hour, police forces started surrounding the people in the square and announced that people had been occupying public space and should leave the square immediately so that police could take over. Irony played a crucial game as police pushed people off the square with water cannons and gas bombs, to “liberate” the square from people for “public” use. The thousands who had filled the square earlier were pushed towards Istiklal Avenue and met there with other thousands who came to the most popular entertainment area and the heart of Istanbul for a Saturday night. When police started shooting rubber bullets, aiming tear-gas canisters at people and watering everyone with TOMAs, clubbers became de-facto protesters and joined in with the resistance in their nice dresses, shiny hats and even some in stilettos.
When there was no violence from civilians, police kept shooting all around and gassed all side streets. Some of the most popularly shot areas were where the local pubs were located and police began their attack “in the name of Allah” like they had started a jihad against protesters. During the night’s events several journalists were dragged by police, but were released when they realized that the cameras were broadcasting live. One RT reporter was deliberately shot by water cannon and CNN’s reporter said he was called “son of a b***h” by undercover policemen for reporting the events. A reporter for one of the four channels that still broadcast events, Halk TV, was silenced by police several times, and eventually her camera’s plug and power supplies were damaged by police. While international and local civilian media were suffering these attacks, the mainstream media reported the events for a few minutes only and stated “the police are dispersing the crowds very peacefully only using water cannons” when their reporters were coughing due to excessive use of gas bombs in the square.
When the people in the square and on Istiklal reacted to police violence and asked “Why are you shooting us? We are all brothers, all citizens of the same country,” the police replied in a very disappointing way, stating “only Muslims are our brothers, not you traitors!” The initial “jihad” chanting and these remarks make it sound like the police are attacking anyone who does not conform to the government’s religious plans, yet the Muslim-Democrats have also been subject to police violence as they were protesting throughout weeks; and especially when they expected police to stop attacking during the Islamic call to prayer minutes in the evening.
While the world awaits PM Erdogan’s restraint or President Gül’s call to end violence, there are only more provocative remarks, filled with the media’s fake stories and biased coverage to anger government supporters and target the protesters who only want a guarantee of democratic rights. While the government is guilty of giving these orders and all state bodies of applying them without hesitation, the opposition parties have a weak stand, as much has been expected of them but almost nothing comes, not even their mere presence to protect civilians with their right to immunity.
MORE STORIES by Gürkan Özturan @ http://radicaldemocrat.blog.com
Turkish Protesters’ Park-Forums @ http://99getsmart.com/turkish-protesters-park-forums/
Turkey: Erdogan’s Kayseri speech @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-erdogans-kayseri-speech/
Gezi Park: Civilian Occupation Ends, Police Occupation Begins @ http://99getsmart.com/gezi-park-civilian-occupation-ends-police-occupation-begins/
“Tools of Freedom”: EU Parliament Conference on Events in Turkey @ http://99getsmart.com/tools-of-freedom-eu-parliament-conference-on-events-in-turkey/
Turkey: As AKP Aims to Silence International Media, Police Continue to Storm Taksim; Uprising Spreads @http://99getsmart.com/turkey-as-akp-aims-to-silence-intl-media-police-continue-to-storm-taksim-uprising-spreads/
Turkey: Resistance Park @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-resistance-park/
Turkey: Regime Ignores International Community’s Outrage @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-regime-ignores-international-communitys-outrage/
Turkey: The “Cleaning” of Taksim Square @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-the-cleaning-of-taksim-square/
Turkey: Artists Accused of “Civilian Coup” @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-artists-accused-of-civilian-coup/
Turkey: Erdogan’s Fictitious ‘Reality’ Persists in Speech to Paid ‘Supporters’ @http://99getsmart.com/turkey-erdogans-fictitious-reality-persists-in-speech-to-paid-supporters/
Green Spaces Keep Shrinking, Boycotts Expand and Police Complain about Working Conditions @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-green-spaces-keep-shrinking-boycotts-expand-and-police-complain-about-working-conditions/
EU-Turkey Conference Minimizes Overt Police Brutality, Erdogan’s Ongoing Hypocricy & the Failure of Turkish Main Stream Media @ http://99getsmart.com/turkey-eu-turkey-conference-minimizes-overt-police-brutality-erdogans-ongoing-hypocricy-the-failure-of-turkish-main-stream-media/
Nightly report from Turkey 07-06-13 @ http://99getsmart.com/nightly-report-from-turkey-07-06-13/
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Photo by Eser Karada? released under a Creative Commons No Derivatives license.