Tag Archives: Ankara

Turkey: Brief update on repression

Last night, Sunday the 16th of June 2013, it was calm in the city of İzmir. People gathered in Alsancak, at Gündoğdu Square, but the repression forces didn’t react. This is probably the current police strategy. They attack with huge forces in İstanbul and Ankara, but ‘let the other cities be’ for the time being.

The cops have dispersed the Taksim Gezi commune. The police’s fourth attack on Gezi Park was the most brutal one. Anti-riot squads, as well as many plainclothes (some of them cops, some of them Tayyip Erdoğan’s supporters), attacked in evening hours when it was crowded, and there were also children and old people in the area. Now, instead of huge blocks of police, numerous plainclothes cops in many inner streets wait to capture people. Protesters that live in the surrounding neighbourhoods are trapped in their houses and looking for ways to gather again outside. On Sunday night, twitter was flooding with messages that were calling people to take shelter in their houses.

On the previous evening, June 15th, they cut or pulled out some of the trees in Gezi Park while the Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan was making a public speech. Mainstream media (especially NTV, and Habertürk) manipulated the facts. Habertürk broadcasted Tayyip’s speech with subtext “Prime minister giving speech to 1 million people.” The place where he gave his speech has the capacity of 250,000 people (4 persons per 1 square meter), and the half of the place was empty — of course, this was not shown in the media. Soon thereafter, during the violent crackdown in Taksim, the subtext was “Police taking the provocateurs out of Gezi Park.” (They are using the word ‘provakatör’ to describe people who are provoking others for violence, labeling each one of them as terrorist, as a person to blame. Meanwhile, many people don’t know what the word really means.)

In previous days, the police had detained 29 people blaming them for their messages on twitter (some of them are very naive). According to the Interior Minister, people who were active in social media will be hunted also in other cities, and new state laws will be voted about Internet.
Yesterday (16/6) a total of 455 people were detained all over Turkey — 193 in İstanbul, 105 in Ankara. 22 of them, including some members from Çarşı and some physicians, are accused of being ‘organizatör’ (organizer). The Organized Crime department of the Turkish police will investigate into these persons, and they will be interrogated for 4 days.
Today (17/6) workers unions are on strike, namely DİSK (Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions), KESK (Confederation of Public Workers Unions), TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects), TTB (Turkish Medical Association), and TDB (Turkish Dentists Association).

Berlin: Kreuzberg salutes the people revolting in Turkey

Everyday for the last two weeks people have taken to the streets of Berlin to show their solidarity with the ongoing struggle in Turkey. On the evening of June 7th a short and wild demonstration took place in the centre of the Kreuzberg neighbourhood, when around 50 people marched towards Kottbusser Tor, shouting slogans and lightening fireworks.

Traffic was blocked in every direction by material pulled into the street from construction sites. The cops, who were at that moment attempting a drug raid in Kottbusser Tor, were attacked with stones and firebombs. After this action the mob dispersed.

Before the demonstrators reached Kottbusser Tor, leaflets were spread in the surrounding area. The text was written in Turkish and German and circulated some days before Friday’s action. Additionally banners were hung reading “Berlin salutes Istanbul – For social revolt worldwide” and “Özgürlük için omuz omuza / Side by side towards freedom!” As the newspapers reported, two people were arrested by the cops and released the next day. We lend our solidarity to them as well, as they are facing the repression of the police and the judicial system.

We will be back: when, where, and how we chose. We take part in demos and actions, and show the rebels that in Berlin too we fight at their side!

Our thoughts are with the families, friends and comrades of Mehmet Ayvalıtaş (İstanbul), Abdullah Cömert (Antakya) and Ethem Sarısülük (Ankara), all killed during the revolt.

Freedom for the prisoners! Shoulder to shoulder towards freedom!

The leaflet that was handed out:

Solidarity with the Rebels!

People storm the streets, barricades are built, cars are set on fire, and everything that’s not nailed down flies in the direction of the police. The sky is clouded by teargas, and a shout for freedom makes its way through the dust.

The planned destruction of one of the last green spaces in Istanbul, in order to replace it with a shopping mall, was the spark that brought thousands of people onto the streets in order to resist. In the meantime, the revolt spread across the country like wildfire.

No matter how different the motivations of everyone involved may be, they burst through the existent, and in doing so, open new spaces of self-organization, solidarity and controversy.

All these things are a rare occurrence in this world. Between school, work, paying rent, keeping a family feed and so on, it often seems as if there is no time to take issue with the destruction of our environment. We approve that all over the wold there are still those who, despite it all, still do something. As has been shown, the small fights of daily life can be the trigger of a general uprising.

We see the smoke signals from the cities and in them we recognize the struggles we fight here: against displacement, degradation, and police violence. Therefore we call for solidarity with the insurgents, so that those on the Bosporus can also see that they are not alone!

Shoulder to shoulder towards freedom! (A)

Turkey: Raw news from the Taksim Gezi Park struggle and ongoing riots

Banner on Lesvos Island (opposite Turkish shores): ‘Solidarity with the rebels in Turkey’

On June 1st we were in Taksim at about 3pm. After clashes that started in the morning, police was forced to leave the area. The cops disappeared for some hours. For two hours there was no police presence in any area in downtown İstanbul (European side). People occupied the Taksim Square and Gezi Park. The number of people was huge. All of the park, square and roads that lead to this area were full of people. All the construction barriers that were closing the west side of the park were destroyed by protesters. Some of the police barriers were removed and were thrown down to the road that goes to the newly constructed underground tunnel. Others were used in the barricades built by protesters. The police hut in the south of the park looking down the square was set on fire and the anti-riot vehicle left there by police was destroyed, too. One police car in the same place was turned over and destroyed as well. People were filled with joy and they were taking souvenir photos in front of the destroyed vehicles and building. North of the Park is Hyatt Regency hotel and at the entrance garden of the hotel there was a police car thrown into the pool. Four public buses were left at the crossroad that is near and were also damaged.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/67432788[/vimeo]

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/67480646[/vimeo]

At around 6pm we learned from our comrades that clashes started to take place in Beşiktaş, where the office/house of Tayyip Erdogan is located. People were attacking from four directions: from the Beşiktaş Square (east), Dolmabahçe road (west), Akaretler (northwest) and Ortabahçe road (north). Police was stuck there with four anti-riot vehicles with water cannons and around 150 police officers at the entrance of Hayrettin İskelesi street. At all directions barricades were erected. After some hours police was able to push people, and repression forces expanded. New barricades were set on Mumcu Bakka street and Süleyman Seba road to prevent the police force from entering the Çarşı, which is the bazaar area of Beşiktaş where people hang out. Police used plastic bullets when the people’s attack intensified. Clashes continued till around 1.30am (2/6). Finally police used excessive amount of gas bombs to disperse the crowd, and people left the barricades and took shelter in the shops and bars around, or regrouped in inner streets of Beşiktaş.

Meanwhile resisters in Taksim built huge barricades on the roads and streets around the square and Gezi Park all night. Also, people torched construction vehicles. Buses, cars, construction materials, police barriers, thrash containers, etc. were used as barricades. Continue reading Turkey: Raw news from the Taksim Gezi Park struggle and ongoing riots