The police and RTE celebrate the Gezi anniversary

Turkish police have used tear gas to disperse demonstrators in Istanbul and Ankara on the first anniversary of deadly anti-government protests.

Some 25,000 police surrounded and blocked Istanbul’s Taksim Square, the epicentre of the 2013 rallies.

Further reading: Further reading

There was also an inceeasing number of plain clothes police looking lie teenage ninja mutant turtles with their back packs and long truncheons. Here is a video such police arresting someone and covering his face to stop him from being identified

youtube clip

In the meantime the PM is of course not idle:

“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who misleadingly presented the Gezi Park protests as a “coup attempt” against his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, benefited from the same argument in order to shape public opinion in his favor regarding a graft probe in which some government members have been implicated, observers have said.”

Further reading

Today, 1st june, the first anniversay of the first person being killed by the police in the Gezi protests: Ethem Sarisuluk. Crowds are gathering to the spot in Ankara.

Another man dies in Istanbul – wounded and ignored by the police

Berkin Elvan died in March

Yesterday High School Dev-Genc (a left group amongst high schools) staged a protest in Okmeydani. I don’t know why yesterday.

Police shot and killed Ugur Kurt who had nothing to do with the protests but was at Okmeydani Djemevi for a funeral (see previous post).

Yesterday evening, people were out on the streets protesting Ugur Kurt’s killing, when another man (who remains unidentified) was shot in the head by a tear gas canister and this morning he was pronounced dead.

Sadly, this is a vicious cycle familiar to Turkey and elsewhere: someone dies, people protest, one of the protesters gets killed, people protest, one of the protesters gets killed…

What’s unbelievably sad is that this man was shot and lied on the road, according to reports by 45 minutes, when the police did not allow anyone to come to his help.

These pictures show, he lied there long enough for his blood to flow down to the police officers, as if pointing towards his killers. This is unacceptable and the responsibility of PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan who said “Berkin Elvan died and that’s that [get over it]” “I am in awe of how patient the police are” and its his government and judicial system which made sure that the police photographed and filmed as killing Ethem Sarisuluk last summer in Ankara walked free.

And now, the society is being pushed to a bigger drive between Alevi and Sunni. I just hope people will be smarter and more patient than RTE and his police and not fall for these provocations.

ignore edilen adam 2 ignore edilen adam 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more in Turkish: http://www.imctv.com.tr/2014/05/23/okmeydaninda-ikinci-olum/

A by stander is killed – 2nd victim to police bullet

Yesterday, it was local and European elections in the UK where this blogger is based.

I voted on the way to work …what a lovely experience, and a privilege…even if it doesn’t means as much in the greater scheme of things, I don’t care. And the poll clerks were very friendly, the pride in their job was pulpable and they certainly didn’t look like they were worried about how fairly the votes would be counted and they were not planning on sleeping on the ballot paper bags over night to make sure that the ruling party does not swap them with false papers. [see March 30 election stories from Turkey] I felt genuinely happy leaving the polling station. More so than I’ve felt for a while now. 

then I came online and saw that police has shot a young man in the head in Okmeydani, Istanbul. By the evening, he was dead. Not just dead. Killed. By the police. With a gun. He was not a protester. He was at a Djemevi (Alevi place of worshiip) attending a funeral.

And now more and more people are asking the question – why are the majority of people who died since Gezi Alevis? and remind us all the other times Alevis were killed by the state, or their losses were not acknowledged by the state. Others point out that there isn’t a deliberate targeting of Alevis. I hope the latter are correct as I am seriously concerned about the future of the country and cannot get rid of visions of civil war. 

More on Ugur Kurt, who was killed yesterday. We wish his family all the patience in the world and are very sory for their, our, loss.

the text below is from http://revolution-news.com/turkish-police-critically-injure-ugur-kurt-when-shooting-wildly-at-student-protest/

you can watch him being shot or the moments leading to it, on this link, too. I can’t bring myself to watch it.

Image

Uğur Kurt (30), a contract worker in Beyoğlu Municipality, was shot dead with live ammo fired by police attacking the Okmeydanı weekly student protest for murdered Gezi protester Berkin Elvan.

Istanbul police have staged a crackdown on members of Dev-Genç youth organization of high school students who staged a march in the district of Okmeydanı today for Berkin Elvan who was murdered by police at the age of 15 during last year’s Gezi Park protests in Istanbul.

Uğur Kurt, was attending a funeral in nearby Djemevi (Alevi place of worship), when he was shot in the head by a real bullet fired by police attacking the student protest. Kurt who has been rushed to Okmeydanı Training and Research Hospital is reported to have been passed away.

 

For more photos, see: http://www.narphotos.net/SpotNews/Thumbnail/death-of-ugur-kurt/153/

 

Turkey: Leading MPs and Doctors Question Prime Minister Erdogan’s Sanity

After witnessing Prime Minister Erdogan’s“breakdown” after he exploded into a temper tantrum during a speech of the President of Turkey’s Bar Association, Metin Feziogly on May 10, leading members of parliament, including doctors, commented on the prime ministers health, reports Aydinlik Daily.

ErdoganErdogan has previously been criticized for his inability to tolerate criticism and radical, inconsiderate responses, including last year’s violent crack down on protesters in Gezi Park and numerous public tantrums.

Several of the MPs made public statements to the prime minister’s latest temper tantrum and breakdown in response to the Bar Association’s criticism, sharing their concerns that the incident shows that Erdogan’s unstable mental condition might drag the whole country into turmoil any minute now.

Aydinlik Daily quotes Dr. Aytun Ciray the Deputy President of Turkey’s largest opposition party CHP commenting on the fact that Erdogan may run for the presidency as saying:

The Prime Minister loses his temper quite quickly and such a person cannot be president. A president who cannot control his anger can get Turkey into all sorts of troubles, considering the fact that a president is also the chief commander of the army. We all saw Erdoğan’s behaviour during the State Council’s ceremony. He respects neither the public nor the presidency. As a doctor, I do not think Erdoğan is in his right mind. A psychiatrist had better study him.”

CHP Deputy President Professor Dr. Haluk Koc, for his part, was quoted as commenting on Erdogan’s tantrum and breakdown:

“I told you 10 years ago that Erdoğan was sick. He cannot manage his anger. He is in fear and trembling, which is why he is unable to act rationally. This is what it was about at the ceremony. He thinks that he owns the state. He wants to be president, prime minister, shaykh al-islam and AKP president, all at the same time. He loses it whenever he receives criticism. He is in a dreadful psychologic state. He is even afraid of people around him. He must be examined by professionals.”

Emine Ülker Tarhan, an MP for the CHP from Akara commented on the prime minister’s inability to listen and lack of judgement and rationality, saying:

“That was the evidence of a Prime Minister who listens to himself 24/7 and has no patience to listen to other people. We believe that the head of the state must be able to use his judgement rationally, but it seems impossible for him to run the country in such a state of mind since he does not have the patience to listen to others.”

The three are not the only ones who have drawn the psychological stability of the prime minister into question. The fact that leading Turkish MPs set political protocol aside and stress the need for Prime Minister Erdogan to be examined by professionals is, indeed alarming and does raise questions about national security.

Miners killed in Turkey – not accident, not faith but crime

We are very sorry to be coming back online after a while with such bad news:

157 workers were killed in the Soma coal mine in Turkey yesterday. 273 workers are still unaccounted for. They join the 270 people who died in work-related accidents in the first three months of 2014.

According to International Labor Organization (ILO) figures, Turkey ranks first in Europe and third in the world for fatal work accidents. The ILO says 18 out of 100,000 insured laborers die every year in work accidents, seven times greater than the EU average of 2.5.

Those who are fortunate enough to live hardly face brighter prospects. More than a million subcontracted workers in the private and public sector work without job security, deprived of their right to join unions and participate in collective bargaining.

Millions more work as minimum-waged labourers, making 846 TL [US$400] per month, below the official hunger limit of 1,200 TL per month.

Coal miners are expected to die in this land of cheap labour and expendable lives. “Dying,” Turkish PM Erdogan declared following a 2010 explosion that killed 30 workers at a Zonguldak mine, “is the fate of the coal miner.” “Those who enter this profession should be aware of its risks.”

Not fate. Nor accident. This is systematic murder.

http://www.turkiyenewspaper.com/Economics/4664-labor-minister-occupational-safety-poor-in-turkey.aspx

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/05/turkey-trade-union-restriction-hostility-government-labor.html

“On April 29, the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) had submitted a motion to Parliament to investigate work-related accidents at the mine in Soma, only for the proposal to be rejected with votes from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/151-killed-hundreds-trapped-by-coal-mine-explosion-energy-minister.aspx?pageID=238&nID=66438&NewsCatID=341

This blogger knows at least one academic personally who have been sarning the government about occupational deaths. Coal – why coal at this day and age with such wind and solar potential in the country anyway? And how dare a PM say – as Erdogan did a few years back – that risk of death is part of mining and miners accept it when they take on the job. Even if statistically this is the case where in the job description of a PM it says “make statements based on statistics, make no attempt to change them”!

Checking the social media – some are not covering this for whatever reason, some are expressing their outrage through prayer, some are organsing demonstrations. Last year almost to the day there was a bombing in Reyhanli, which was a crucial factor in pushing at least some people to the streets, this year will Soma be the same? In the meantime, innocent people continue to die.

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The authorities cannot give a certain number as to exactly how many miners were under ground at the time of the explosion. Isn’t this enough sign that health & safety rules were not adhered to?

A tweet acount opened just to make one statement about the accident said that one worker was taken out on strecher with oxygen mask on his face, when his sister held his hand it was alreay cold, she fought her way into the ambulance, when the doors closed they pulled the mask off and covered his face with blanket. They wanted to show him as wounded to the media and people waiting, while he’d already been dead.

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The number of deaths at 157 seems to be a deliberate underestimate.

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Within half an hour of writing the above the number killed rose to 201.

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-27403061

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/turkey-mine-blast-people-killed-trapped-rescue-operation

Apologies for typos, post written on a phone.

CHP’s Ankara candidate vows to defend votes as police crack down on protest

1st April 2014 – ore than two days have passed since the end of the March 30 elections, but tension over counting and the victors remains latent, with anger over alleged electoral fraud in Ankara spreading to points around the country. The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appealed to district election boards of Ankaraover irregularities in the local mayoral elections in which the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) incumbent won a narrow victory.

“We will not let any votes of the people of Ankara be wasted. We’ll follow the votes given for us until the end,” Mansur Yavaş, the CHP candidate for Ankara mayor, said in a press conference Apr. 1 noting that his party did not believe the election was fair. Apart from Ankara, the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) appealed the votes in three provinces, Iğdır, Kastamonu and Kütahya, while the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) appealed for a recount of votes in Istanbul’s Kartal district. The main opposition party also demanded a recount in Istanbul’s Üsküdar district.

In Ankara, some votes given to the CHP were included in the records of the ballot boxes of other parties, while some CHP votes were not recorded at ballot boxes, Mansur said, adding that around 12,000 ballot boxes were being examined one by one with the help of at least 500 600 young volunteers.

Continues: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/police-use-water-cannons-as-protesters-denounce-vote-rigging-allegations-in-ankara-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64391&NewsCatID=338

Opposition ballots found in trash bags in southern Turkey

Photo from DHA

Photo from DHA

1st April 2014 – Used ballots, marked for the main opposition Republican  Peoples’ Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), have been  found in the garbage of six schools used as polling stations in the southern  province of Osmaniye. City residents reported the incident to the police when they found the used  ballots in the trash in Osmaniye’s Düziçi district. According to reports, the schools where the ballots were found are the Uzunbanı Elementary School, Atatürk High School, Atatürk Elementary School, Cumhuriyet High School, Cumhuriyet Elementary School and ÇEAŞ Anatolian High School. It was claimed that the ballots were planned to be burned. Candidates from the CHP and MHP have filed an official complaint to the Public Prosecutors’ Office and have appealed to the Supreme Election Council (YSK). The Düziçi Police Department has launched an investigation into the incident. The ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) candidate Ökkeş Namlı won in the Düziçi district with 10,294 votes. The CHP’s Alper Öner received 9,854 votes, while the MHP’s Muhammet Kaya received 5,179 votes.

From: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opposition-ballots-found-in-trash-bags-in-southern-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=64390&NewsCatID=338