Turkish Uprising

Avatar rising…this is no Arab Spring

Istanbul Rebels

Istanbul Rebels

It started as a small, very local protest as bulldozers rolled in to begin demolishing Istanbul’s last remaining park, Istanbul’s treasured “Central Park”, to make way for a new shopping center.

On May 31st, the citizens came together at Taksim Square for a peaceful “sit in”   The response of the police was unduly harsh .  The protesters were met by pepper spray and water canons.  Many went to hospital.

The local Turkish media said nothing about the heart felt and noble struggle of the people to save their precious park, nor the brutal response.

“While masses of protestors battled police armed with tear gas bombs in Istanbul Saturday, CNN-Turk chose instead to air an episode of Spy of the Huddle, a three-part documentary on penguins. 

The broadcast poured lighter fluid on online accusations of a countrywide media blackout over riots in Taksim Square, where demonstrators protested a government initiative to turn a park into a shopping center and army barracks.”

They reached out to the world in desperation:

“FRIENDS LIVING OUTSIDE TURKEY

PLEASE HEAR OUR CRIES AND SPREAD THE NEWS”

Istanbul's Woman in Red

Istanbul’s Woman in Red

Protesters started posting in their Facebook and using Twitter.  They begged for help, for support, for reassurance.  Day after day, the crowd grew.  Day after day, Turks staged protests in their cities and towns.  Protests have been snowballing across the country, a firestorm of rage has been ignited.  But all fires need a fuel.  In Turkey, that fuel is ten years of abuse of the nation’s minorities.  A resident of Istanbul wrote:

“This is my personal message to all of you.Our protest against the demolition of Gezi Park (a park at the heart of Istanbul) started simple and peaceful with approximately 50 people. Then police brutality came. They attacked the peaceful protestors with pepper sprays in the middle of the night. Then an amazing movement started, our people, oppressed for the last decade, took collective action. People from various groups started protesting side by side without causing damage however police reacted severely with tear gasses, vehicles, bats and water. They aimed directly at the protestors, their intension was to harm. They did not follow regulations. MEDIA was silent, the day these events started they aired things like documentaries about penguins and beauty contests. Only one channel broadcasted on these topics and access to the channel was very limited. When mainstream media finally decided to broadcast the events we were shocked by how corrupted they were, they all supported the government. In a weekend we all became experts on tear gasses, organizing through social media and how to dodge attacks by the police. Things will get very ugly from now on, I assure you. We’re subjected to brutality even in the posh neighborhoods of Istanbul. Our friends are hurt and under arrest. These movements spread to other big cities. Ankara, Izmir, Eskisehir, Adana and Antalya. People gave us their support, they started off peacefully, but they faced brutal attacks from the police. We hear from other cities as well but we’re not sure of anything because the media is silent. Supporters of Erdogan started their attacks as well, we are scared because this may lead to a civil war. The world needs to know.Recep Tayyip Erdogan has harassed 50% of this country, every single one of us who did not vote for him. He declared everyone who had a sip of alcohol “alcoholics”, he said that the people who are against the demolition of Gezi Park should be hung from its trees, he banned broadcasts on the Reyhanli events where at least 40 people died, he was ok with 26 men raping a 13 year old girl while he declared that he was against couples who displayed affection in public areas, he ordered the arrests of journalists and high ranking army officials, he tried to provoke us to turn against each other. He even told us to give birth to at least 3 children and he compared all women without headscarves to whores. For the past decade 50% of this population was not represented, they were harassed both physically and verbally. Our personal lives were meddled with, from our bedrooms to the streets. PEOPLE ARE FED UP. We don’t know what we’ll wake up to, so NO ONE SLEEPS. No one knows whats coming. This movement has no leader.PLEASE ASK US QUESTIONS REGARDING THE EVENTS. We want to be heard. There are many groups involved with all kinds of views but we agree on one thing: WE WILL NO LONGER BE OPPRESSED, WE WANT THEM TO STOP DISREGARDING US. May I remind everyone that these people may belong to minority groups but put together they form HALF of the population. We, Turkish citizens, form a DIVERSE community and no view should be held above the other. We don’t want their impositions and regulations. WE ARE CAPABLE HUMAN BEINGS, we can decide on PERSONAL MATTERS for ourselves. (Erdogan has advised Turkish women to have three children)HELP US SPREAD THE NEWS AND CONDEMN THE ACTIONS OF THE GOVERNMENT. HELP US RAISE AWARENESS. WE ARE PREVENTED FROM EXPRESSING OUR VIEWS BUT YOU ARE NOT.I KNOW YOU CAN RELATE TO AT LEAST ONE OF US, we are the Christians, the Jews, the Atheists, the Kurds, republicans, communists, liberals, environmentalists, feminists; there are even extremist muslim groups among us. We are the majority consisting of minorities and we are all subjected to abuse.

Please, share our stories, be our voice. Let everyone know what we’re subjected to. Protest in front of Turkish embassies if you can.

We need international help desperately.” – Irem 

I was sent these photos:
Istanbul

Istanbul

Istanbul Protest

Istanbul Protest

Istanbul Protest

Istanbul Protest

 Turkey is a long time member of NATO.  The sudden and unexpected turmoil taking place among the citizenry there could very well have repercussions with regard to toppling Bashar Assad in Syria.  The road to Damascus seems far, far away; Armageddon postponed.

Your merchants were the world’s important people.
 By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. Revelations 18:23

Benghazi Blues

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