The demo started at 7pm. Thousands of people gathered around the bull sculpture in Kadıköy. Demonstrators blocked the road for a few hours. At one side of the road were two TOMAs (antiriot control vehicle), and cops at the other side; a huge banner reading ‘hükümet istifa’ (government resign) was unfolded. More protesters were at the Bahariye pedestrian street. Some of the protesters, mostly communists and kemalists, left the demonstration area after few hours. Communists headed to their party office, while kemalists went to their middleclass houses. Before they left, barricades were already set on fire along the Bahariye street. The area was crowded. Instead of gathering all together and marching one direction, resisters were spread along the Bahariye street. At many different points along and around the Bahariye, barricades were set on fire. Bank windows were smashed, ATMs damaged. Messages against corrupt Tayyip and his son were painted on the walls, shop windows and billboards. (The protest broke out in response to recently leaked phone conversations from the 17th and 18th of December 2013 between Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan and his son Bilal, that appear to capture them talking about where to hide or how to get rid of dirty money…)
Next day (26.2.2014), same hour, another demo took place in Taksim, İstanbul.
It should be noticed that local elections are going to be held in Turkey on the 30th of March 2014…
Some background information:
Two powers that joined their authority to become the government are currently at war. These two powers are Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling AK Party and Fethullah Gülen’s Cemaat. Cemaat is a religious group that organized secretly, first with student houses. They opened countless ‘dershane’ (private establishments preparing students for various exams) across Turkey. They also opened many schools and universities all around the world, especially in Turkic countries in Middle Asia and Muslim countries in Africa. In short, they brainwashed young people in these places and created their manpower and brainpower for their empire. Then they placed their men at crucial positions (assignation and intelligence) in the police organization. By the time Turkish State’s police realized this it was already too late. They tried to get rid of them but were not successful. Cemaat was also organized very well around the Muslim companies. They also had the secret support of US government, further establishments and NGOs. They became a superpower that can affect not only the incidents in Turkey but also the Middle East; one of the secret hand of the empire, and a very powerful one. They supported AK Party in the elections, so Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his gang became the rulers of Turkey. For 10 years they were getting along very well. They established many businesses; they earned incredible amounts of money together. Cemaat became more and more visible as they gained more power. Then Tayyip Erdoğan became a megalomaniac day by day and forgot how much power he owes to the Cemaat. And he started to do things that would eventually hurt Cemaat’s network. The dispute was first visible with an incident of MIT (National Intelligence Organization of Turkey) assistant secretary Hakan Fidan (he was blamed for having leaked information from Israel to Iran). Then Taksim Gezi Park was occupied. Cemaat probably saw that their hegemony was in danger. Then AK Party insisted on a new law that would shut down the dershane’s. This was another sign of disloyalty on the part of Tayyip Erdoğan towards Fethullah Gülen, since dershane’s were the core in which Cemaat had flourished; dershane’s were the recruitment organs of Cemaat. This new law of AK Party was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Cemaat acted furiously and started their operation: Many top level politicians and businessmen were blamed for corruption and were detained. Tayyip Erdoğan counter-acted by getting rid of many chiefs and officers in the police agency.
On December 16th, 2013 former football player MP Hakan Şükür resigned from the AK Party. The next day, Cemaat’s operation was launched. They published documents of corruption. They detained sons of ministers, some businessmen close to the AK Party; houses were raided, where millions were found in cash. Some of the money was hidden in shoeboxes, so shoeboxes became the symbol of their corruption. The operation continued the following days. On December 21st, kemalists protested in many cities after a call by the TGB/Turkish Youth Union, a branch of the CHP/Republican People’s Party.
In the context of the war between AK Party and Cemaat, people tired and disgusted of both shit decided to take to the streets in December 2013; not to become a subject of their dirty war but to give rise to the struggle for freedom.
On December 22nd, thousands of people gathered for a rally in Kadıköy, İstanbul. The initial call was made weeks before, in defense of the city against the Capital, but when the news of corruption broke out it also turned into a protest against corruption. Police attacked the crowd and tried to disperse them. Clashes broke out in the streets of Kadıköy.
On December 25th, protests under the slogan ‘government resign’ took place in many cities and different places in İstanbul. The most massive one was held in Kadıköy. The crowd was mainly divided into two blocs: anti-autoritarians, the LGBTT group and city action groups on the front; and the TKP (Communist Party) and the CHP (Republican People’s Party) at the back. First bloc headed to the place where they started (at the bull sculpture) and the next bloc split and headed to the place in front of the ferry. When the march finished, Taksim Solidarity’s call was announced. Some dispersed and went home. Other people remained around the bull statue and a group marched to the AK Party’s building. Police attacked them, and demonstrators went back to the bull sculpture. The remaining people gathered with them and built barricades all along the Bahariye street. The crowd was not organized well and had to pull back along the Bahariye street. Clashes continued till midnight; 42 people were detained (6 of them under the age of 18). The next day, protests continued in various different places in İstanbul.
On December 27th (videos i, ii), cops attacked people that were gathered in small groups before a demo in Taksim. Street clashes started instantly. The ferry station in Kadıköy was blocked by cops to prevent people at Anatolian side from joining the protest in Taksim.