Sunday, 23 June 2013

Police Intervenes while 100 000 Commemorate the Dead

Taksim Solidarity had called for a meeting on Taksim Square on 22nd of June to commemorate the 4 people that have died in the course of the protests. The idea was to leave carnations in Gezi Parki to commemorate the dead.

Many local forums gathered in their own districts and marched unto Taksim Square. In the end some 100 000 people gathered at Taksim Square to  commemorate the dead.

Interestingly enough, Gezi Park still couldn't be accessed by people. While Erdogan and the Vali of Istanbul, Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, made abundantly clear that they were clearing Gezi Parki for it being wrongly occupied by a minority while according to them Gezi Park has to be open for all citizens, after the park has been "cleaned" of the occupiers there are no more people allowed there, only public workers. While during the occupation there were actual citizens of Istanbul there, organizing theur lives by themselves in a communal way, now, after the "opening up" of the park to "the people", there is only police.

The state used that same Orwellian speech yesterday to dissolve the crowd gathering at Taksim Square. While Taksim Solidarity and several other organisations called the people to leave Taksim Square after the commemoration, the crowd just wouldn't go. So the state came up with the same idea and declared that people are illegaly occupying public space that should be open to all people and began clearing the whole area so that in the end there were no more people there but only police, which is, as we have seen by now, AKP's idea of how a public space is "open to all the people".

While the use of police violence was relatively moderate at the beginning (pushing with their shields and some water cannons) when compared to the civil-war-like athmosphere of the last weeks, the level of violence suddenly exploded once the people began resisting in Istiklal street and its sideroads, the use of batons, gas, plastic bullets and armoured vehicles was yet again the only response the police could think of. Propably the state realised this time that most of the international media is filming Taksim Square itself from hotel rooms in the immediate proximity of Taksim Square, but not so much the Istiklal street and its sideroads, and thus though it could present a nicer image of the interventions when relegating it to the roads off Taksim square. In the end, according to the Turkish Doctors' Association, 42 people were injured and an unknown number of people taken into custody.

As far as the Turkish media is concerned, again only Halk TV and Ulusal TV were reporting live from Taksim square and Istiklal. As a result, the police intervened and the police forced the cameraman of Halk TV to turn off his camera. The mainstream media once again excelled in being the state's most obedient lackey: CNN Turk was showing a documentary on ants, Sky Turk showed a cartoon and TRT1 the soccer match between Brazil and Italia. While Cihangir, one of the many districts close to Taksim Square/Istiklal street that have also been attacked by the police, was drowning in gas, CNN Turk, the shining star of critical journalism, was saying that "there may be gas used in Cihangir". We congratulate the Turkish media on its highly critical and investigative journalism.  But until the mainstream Turkish media will be awarded with the World Journalism Award, what makes us comfortable is the fact that we live in the 21st century and basically everybody can take pictures and videos and upload them on the internet.


In some of the links below you will find video footage and pictures.


links&sources:

http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/karanfil-toma-ve-gaz-bombasi-haberi-75180
http://haber.sol.org.tr/devlet-ve-siyaset/sov-bitti-taksimde-polis-gaz-bombasi-kullaniyor-0245-haberi-75165
http://www.sendika.org/2013/06/istanbul-taksime-yuruyor-dakika-dakika/
http://www.etha.com.tr/Haber/2013/06/22/guncel/taksimde-direnise-devam/


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