Home > Turkey > Istanbul Protest turning violent

Istanbul Protest turning violent


19 hours ago
Protests in Turkey May 28 2013
Dear friends from around the world. Sadly we are driven to be even more polarized with the recent events. Here is a summary of what is happening in Turkey.
For the past few days, peaceful Turkish citizens have been protesting the demolition of Taksim Gezi Park, one of the few green areas left in the center of Istanbul. The plan by the Erdogan-run AKP government is to build a large shopping center instead, benefiting his own interests and filling his own pockets.
What started with a mere 100 protestors turned into tens of thousands over the course of a few days. People camped out in the park, sang songs, read books, danced. I was there yesterday and it was heartwarming.Prime Minister Erdogan made a public announcement two days ago stating, ‘We have made up our minds’, and that nothing will stop his plans to destroy the park.

He subsequently ordered his police forces to attack protestors in the park using water cannons and tear gas without warning in the early hours of the morning. This has been happening for the past two days, and continues as I write these words. Tents were burned, innocent citizens were dragged away and people had tear gas sprayed directly into their faces.

Innocent people are being attacked, injured and hospitalized. There are unofficial reports of one person being dead with his ID confiscated by officials (an eerie replay of the May 1 attacks when an innocent young girl was put into a coma due to tear gas attacks. This girl was later labeled by the government as a terrorist)

This has become a matter about more than just saving trees. This is an ‘I can do whatever I damn well want’, fascist mentality that not only suppresses but attacks its own people.

To make matters worse, media channels are being censored so as not to display the news.

#direngeziparki is now the 2nd worldwide trending topic on Twitter.

Please be aware and spread the word, It is very important to get international support for us. The message below is a summary of what’s happening in my country since 3 days. And this is only one example of how the current government created a country of horror with its police force.

International Human Rights Organizations and Dear Friends, Comrades, Press Members from all over the world;

This is an urgent call from human rights defenders, activists, NGOs, professional chambers, grassroots, neighborhood associations and Istanbulites.

Since the 27th of May, Istanbulites from all social and political backgrounds and ages and from all over the city had been continuing a peaceful resistance in Gezi Park, the city’s largest public park, soon to be demolished due to a so-called renewal project. This Project foresees the erection of a big mall (designed as the replica of the once Ottoman Artillery Barracks) in the place of those trees.

http://www.bianet.org/english/english/147016-demonstrators-plant-trees-against-destruction-in-taksim-gezi-park

The police intervened in the park 3 times, each time more violent than the previous

The first intervention was in the morning of May 28th, a crowd of about 50 protestors were tear-gassed directly in their faces.

http://stream.aljazeera.com/story/201305302148-0022796

In solidarity with the protestors, hundreds arrived in the evening and the occupation movement grew bigger. Right afterwards, the second intervention came early in the morning of May 30th at 5 am. The riot police set fire to the tents and tear gas and pepper sprays were used incessantly, causing serious injuries.
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/protester-to-undergo-surgery-after-morning-police-intervention-at-taksim-park–.aspx?pageID=238&nID=47878&NewsCatID=341

Against this inhumanity and extreme violence, the reaction was the occupation of the park, this time by thousands.

And this morning proved to be the culmination of violence and barbarism that no words can describe, with an disproportional use of force. The exit of the park was blocked by the police, thus locking the group in the park. The protester were then taken under crossfire of tear gas and pepper bombs, nearly getting choked to death. The only way out was by breaking the walls and many were wounded during this escape.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/protester-to-undergo-surgery-after-morning-police-intervention-at-taksim-park–.aspx?pageID=238&nID=47878&NewsCatID=341.

At the moment, brutal intervention against the protestors continues. The group has been pepper-sprayed and tear-gassed once more as they were leaving the area after reading their press call! At the moment, some are in Divan Hotel at Elmadag, having taken refuge there from the effect of the gas attacks.

Literally, almost all of Taksim Area, where Gezi Park is, is tear-gassed and
pepper gas-sprayed; especially the side streets around Taksim Square are under clouds of gas.

Dear friends, we believe we need nothing else to add; the scenes talk for themselves.

The resistance for democracy and human rights will not be terminated; we are determined to continue our struggle against a government determined to crush each and every opposition, a government that cannot tolerate even a peaceful opposition for saving trees. The present Turkish government has violated all international human rights conventions and mechanisms it is a party to.

Your valuable support and solidarity will indeed fortify our determination and resistance. Please share this news, name it and shame and blame the responsible so that this insanity and brutality practiced against human rights defenders can be terminated through international pressure.

Please help us to share this message and stop Erdogan’s ruthless, inhumane acts.

As our friends overseas, we need your help. Send this message to everyone you know. Create awareness internationally about our plight, or matters are going to get much, much worse. We want all international media channels – social media – to report these news.

What you can do:
– Forward this message to everyone you know
– Send your support messages through twitter with the #direngeziparki hashtag
– Tag @bbc @cnn @reuters and other large media channels in these posts
– Post this message on facebook
– Let your local and national media channels know

In the name of solidarity and friendship
Urban Movements Istanbul / Habitat International Coalition

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