Letter from Taksim – 5

8 June 2013


The last 10 days have been the most extraordinary days of my life. I feel so lucky to be here in İstanbul and close to Gezipark which is now my beloved and my story that I have an urge tell, just like hundreds of thousands of other people. This is a most improbable, spontaneous and leaderless reaction that is fuelled by humour and love. Some call it a LOVE revolution. The AKP government’s persistence on building a Shopping mall on this small park and to go to all lengths including severe police violence, corrupt judiciary and a blind and biased media to stifle this just demand has released a new energy and a new way of opposition whose strength comes from solidarity and resistance to all kinds of violence.

I have learned to take responsibility, to look people in the eye, to give what I can and to ask questions relentlessly until it is heard. Now in Gezipark there is a new form of being together that is free of aggression which is normally the Norm in İstanbul. Tens of thousands of people can live side by side with no Police or State control and there has not been a single violent incident. People care for each other and look after each other and feel Happy in a way they have long forgotten. Kurds, Turks, Laz, Leftists, Nationalists, high school students, University students etc… Everyone and anyone from all kinds of background have understood that ‘We don’t have to be bagged into one, We can be what we are and we can live side by side’.
GeziPark is a living space. It is a living space because it has all started with Trees and our right to breathe. Now ‘Tree’ is a metaphor for all voices stifled, all demands killed by State Force. People want to use their right to voice their demands and do this in Squares and other assembly places. Squares or MEYDAN as it is called in Turkish which implies more of a circular space, is a melting pot. All differences are welcome in Meydan and you literally weave in and out of your so called ‘Other’ and discover that it is fine to touch and talk and listen to that Other. State Power in Turkey works very hard to polarise people and make them think in false equilibriums.

This is not a question of whether it is Turks versus Kurds or Nationalists versus Islamists or Leftists versus Right wings. No. People are natural peace makers when allowed freedom and space in MEYDAN. Meydan unites people without forcing them into narrow labels. Taksim now is enjoying a high level of democracy and the only threat to this, is the Autocratic State Power.
My Questions are´

Why is my right to protest is violated by

telling me to go home
swearing at me
attacking me with water and Gas

4987 people are injured by gas canisters aimed at their bodies and eyes (9 people have lost an eye)

3 people lost their lives.

Why do Police use civil force with sticks to beat people up?
Why do Police use plastic bullets?
Why have there been no arrests or resignations in the Police or Government?

Why did the entire Media show nothing of the events in the first three days?
Why do the most channels bar NTV and CNN Turk (who are now partly showing the events) still not showing the events? And TRT a national Channel is making false news?

People have lost their trust and there is only one way to restore this:
Police Crimes should be punished immediately and Government should stop abusing State Power.

So far there is no signal that this will happen…So


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