Turkey is going through a phase of national resistance for the last 8 days.
It all started with a peaceful protest in Taksim Gezi Park as a reaction to the government, especially prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who allowed for the uprooting of some trees in order to build a mall. People were camping in the park, singing songs, reading books. But on the 3rd day, at about 05:00 in the morning, Turkish police started taking brutal actions by using teargas and watercannon.
A video made by a resister, including photos of police terror. The background music is a song (Eyvallah) by Turkish rock band Duman. The lyrics are about a passive resistance that welcomes all violent actions of the police.
After this excessive force by the police, people occupied major neighbourhoods of Istanbul as a reaction, but the police violence would only grow. Many people were injured by teargas and watercannons, and again many were beaten by the police. While this violent actions were taken, Turkish press kept silent due to their close relations with the government. For example, when CNN International was broadcasting live about the protests, our CNN Turk was airing a documentary about penguins. People could only be informed via social media and a single tv channel, so most of the nation had no idea about the police violence.
Prime minister Erdoğan made some statements:
These protests are made by a bunch of terrorists, marauders (Turkish: çapulcu).
We will build that mall, no matter people say.
We will also demolish AKM (A cultural center next to the park).
We will also build a mosque in Taksim.
We don’t need the permission of these marauders to build that mall.
Our police will always be in Taksim.
These protests are based on ideologies, illegal organizations are rebelling.
Terrorists are fighting for a few trees. We’d better hang them on those trees.
These arrogant claims of Erdoğan made Turkish people angrier. The protests spread to the whole country and the Turkish nation started a civil resistance all over the country. Protests were not limited to Istanbul, thousands of people in many different cities started to shout “Tayyip resign!”. This reaction was also a result of many previous actions of the government, related to the limitations in rights and freedoms. And the people were also angry about the silence in media.
[Cover of a Turkish humour magazine Gırgır. Prime minister Erdoğan, wearing a gas mask. The title says: “Smells like stinking freedom!”]
We are on the streets for our freedom. The protestors are not members of any organization, they are the Turkish nation. Tayyip Erdoğan was elected by 50% vote, which is a huge ratio. But as time passed, he gained more and more power, and he had an enormous ego that eventually transformed him into a dictator.
The protests are going on in many places. Until now, there are two reported deaths and hundreds of injuries and thousands of custodies. We can only use Twitter and Facebook for communication, but access is sometimes slowed down or partially blocked, especially in the places of the resistance. It has been 8 days and people are trying as hard as they can, for keeping these protests peaceful. In Taksim, every morning, people are cleaning the streets; so that dustmen do not have to work a lot.
Our demand from the government is to stop the police violence, be respectful to everyone’s rights and freedoms, free the media; if not; to resign.
The resistance from a puzzlemaker’s point of view:
Rules: The grid represents Taksim Gezi Park. There are peaceful protestors who want to protect the trees. And there are policemen, who use teargas on the protestors. The police can spray teargas in every 8 directions, until the gas hits a tree or the edge of the grid. Locate a protestor next to each tree, so that they are not affected by the gas. The protestors cannot touch each other even diagonally.
Figures in the grid: