‘One week ago I was in Istanbul.
It is one of my favourite cities in the world- a huge sprawling place full of very different lifestyles. Somehow it managed to mix hardcore Muslim religious people with super liberals. Girls in the veil hanging out with girls in mini skirts- or so it seemed.
Last week there was a certain tension. People talked of the current government and their gradual Muslimification of the country. There was anger at the new alcohol laws, which were about to curtail the 24-hour culture of the city- a city that never sleeps. Everywhere I went people were grumbling and there was an underlying tension.
Days later it erupted in the demonstration in Taksim Square- the main square in the city. A demonstration sparked by plans to build on one of the few parks in the centre- ostensibly an environmental demonstration it has grown into an anti government protest as well, especially after the heavy handed actions of the police.
I sit here and watch and hope my friends are ok. I know many of them are down there. And I hope this ends well as these things have a habit of going out of control. Turkey is a complex country and Istanbul a complex city- a mixture of modern attitudes and more traditional views from the influx of peasants who have moved into the city.
Lets hope the government listen and some sort of compromise can be found- let’s hope this doesn’t descend into a battle between the different Turkeys – lets hope they can find a way to make all these versions co-exist
Today I got an email of a very good friend of mine which I have printed below…’
Dear friends from all around the world!
On the 7th day of our resistance in Turkey, your support means a lot to us! We have seen extreme things happening here. You should know and spread the word that this is an incredible civil resistance of peaceful people who only want their basic civil rights, who are fed up with the fascist government, and who want to be visible! They are on the street for their freedom and at their own will. The resistance is incredibly strong. People who are running away from the police attacks are apologizing when they run into each other and people who get brutally attacked by the police (and you will also see government sympathizers in civil clothes join them as well) for hours and with dozens of gas bombs, start collecting the litter in garbage bags afterwards, to clean up the streets. Have you ever seen something like that? And most of these people have never been teargased before in their lives!
And here’s a video below showing how brutal the police has been towards these people – although we don’t call it “Turkish Spring”, we call it “RESISTANCE”, in Turkish it is: “DİRENİŞ”.
And here’s a new website on CONFIRMED news from the resistane below to follow up. It is called whatishappeninginistanbul.com and it is published to provide updated and confirmed news about the protests and resistance that started last week in Istanbul and other cities as the mainstream media has been blind to it all. The web-site compile texts, photos and videos and also give access to featured content from Facebook and Twitter about the resistance.
Resist with us!
We are strong!
We won’t forget any of this!