Turkey Uprising updates: June 5th - June 14th

This is a day-by-day compilation of the updates of the uprising that is taking place in Turkey. For the first week's updates, background information and other links you may not encounter here, please have a look at the first post. In addition, I discovered the following websites:

Atatürk Cultural Center in Taksim square, to be destroyed and transformed into a shopping mall too. June 5th.

When the protesters managed to liberate the Gezi Park and Taksim Square, things mostly calmed down in Istanbul, but not in the other cities. In Antakya, Dersim, Ankara and Rize, police violence continued as usual. Here is a testimony from Istanbul:

The same day, Taksim Solidarity Platform had a meeting with the government where they delivered the following demands:

• Taksim Gezi Park will not be re-developed under the name of Artillery Barracks or any other project,
• an official statement on the cancellation of the current project is made,
• the attempts to demolish Ataturk Cultural Centre stop,
• everybody responsible for the thousands of injured people and two deaths, starting with the Governors and the Police Chiefs of Istanbul, Ankara and Hatay and everyone who prevented the use of the most basic democratic rights of the people; who gave orders for violent repression, enforced or implemented these orders are dismissed from their posts,
• the use of tear gas bombs and other similar materials is prohibited,
• detained citizens who attended  the resistance across the country are immediately released and an official statement which declares that there will not be any investigation about them,
• starting with Taksim and Kizilay squares, all the meeting and demonstration bans effecting all of our squares and public areas and all the de facto blockings are abolished and stopped,
• barriers to freedom of expression are removed.

In later days, Tayyip (PM) stated that these demands were unacceptable.

Chapulling became an English word on the same day, following Tayyip's discourse on calling us "looters". But Fethullah, a fundamentalist community leader, went further and said "We should rehabilitate this rotten generation.", calling us "depraved".

In Ankara, the general strike march was violently attacked by the police. Here is a testimony how June 5th went there:

Day of general strike. Marching towards Kızılay square. Police barricades and water cannons and helicopters on the sides. Apparently, a few people pushed the barricades. I'm guessing that police said “we'll attack if this repeats”, guessing because due to helicopters nothing was audible. Union said they stop the protest. Until we got what's happening, police attacked brutally. We later learned that unionist were forming a barricade “in order to avoid anyone attacking the police”. Some people started an argument with the unionists. And police attacked in the meanwhile, for no reasonable reason. Protesters retreated until Beytepe and formed a barricade.

This is just Kızılay. But the resistance is all over Ankara: Yüzüncüyıl, Dikmen, Mamak, Çiğdem, neighborhoods. Everyday there is a neighborhood march, massive participation. Two days ago, we wanted to join to Dikmen groups, but failed due to brutal police attacks.

It can be little tangential for a post dedicated to updates, but now that we mentioned the general strike, it is worth emphasizing that in İzmir the social democrat mayor threatened workers, said if they go to strike then heavy discipline measures will be applied. Ankara's Islamist mayor congratulated him via Twitter. I'm just making a point.

Tayyip, back in Turkey, started making rallies in every city, threatening the protesters. I tried reading his speeches but decided it's a waste of time and intellectual energy. I am sure the readers can find it in corporate media. Let me instead tell things you cannot find in corporate media, such as the report of Medical Association on June 7th:

- total wounded: 4785 (in 13 cities)

- 3 people died.

- 48 seriously wounded

- 2 in Ankara, 1 in Eskişehir : 3 of the wounded are in critical situation

- 18 had head trauma.

- 10 lost their eyes.

- 1 had his spleen taken.

June 7th, June 8th and June 9th were weekend days and therefore we had massive demonstrations. Many cities started camps or else had open microphone events. I tried counting the number of towns but got bored after an hour, seeing that I cannot get a complete list anyway. It goes without saying that in Ankara, police attacked brutally on each of these days, deliberately aiming at journalists and especially alternative media workers.

Ankara, June 8th.

June 10th, Monday, was relatively calm too. It was a day full of fascist hatred from the government side: Tayyip (PM) declared that they do not accept our terms. Bülent Arınç from AKP threatened the protesters. Abdullah Gül, the Islamist president from AKP, signed the bill that strongly restricts alcohol consumption.

Following the hateful provocations of AKP, police attacked the Taksim square on June 11th, early in the morning. The fights continued all day and all night long. Taksim Square was invaded by the police, the protesters retreated to Gezi Park. Curious detail: The banners and flags in Atatürk Cultural Center (see photo above) were replaced by Turkish flags and an Atatürk flag.

Istanbul, police attack on June 11th

By June 12th morning, the author of this blog arrived to Istanbul. There was a huge recovery mobilization in Gezi Park. Everyone brought food and drinks to the campers. From early morning until very late at night, people carried medical equipment, gas masks, goggles, water bottles and many other things that were sent from all over the country.

Four TV channels who had been broadcasting the uprising since the beginning are fined the same day. Reason? Here: They made programs that could harm the physical, mental or moral development of children and youth.

AKP made a "friendly" meeting with some fake representatives they picked from here and there. Our demands were not in the agenda. The AKP spokesman said they could consider a referendum on the project. I don't get what they mean by "referendum on an urban transformation project". Referendums are for changes in law, not some ridiculous plundering projects. I suppose they mean a public survey which wouldn't be legally binding anyway.

June 13th and June 14th were outrageously calm in Istanbul, while protests continued in other cities. Here is what I posted on June 14th (which still applies at this very moment on June 21st when I'm writing this post) :

VERY IMPORTANT UPDATE: There is a continuous BATTLE in ANKARA for more than two weeks. People and the police fight for 7 hours during the night, go home by sunrise, heal the wounded, replace the inventories (teargas for police, anti-acid liquid for protesters) and go back to the battlegrounds (i.e. public squares).

Thousands injured, thousands detained.

Police attacks never stop in Ankara. THIS IS NOT A GAME ! We need people, we need solidarity protests, we need everything.

Ethem Sarısülük died on June 14th, and Ankara municipality put a huge banner to the park where he was murdered: "Dear Turkish Police. Ankara is Proud of You." Here is how he was shot to death:

Also on June 13th, Taksim Solidarity Platform had a meeting with Tayyip. Their meeting was finished very late at night. They gave a briefing of the meeting and then on June 14th popular assemblies were formed in Gezi Park to consider our response. In short, Tayyip repeated the referendum ridicule and did not mention any of our other demands. The popular assemblies consensually stated to continue the resistance.

On June 15th, there were more popular assemblies to talk about the future. The author of this post was in the general assembly (to compile the results of the 7 popular assemblies), which was canceled due to police's invasion of Gezi Park. But this will be covered in the next post.

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