Thursday, June 6, 2013

Living in Taksim - Daily Report June 6, 2013

Highlight of the day,rather, frustration of the day: PM declared in Algiers that they “will build the barracks.” No understanding, no empathy, no reason. Luckily, the stock market went downhill after his declarations; that’s the only thing left that might convince him that he’s doing something wrong. He’s back in Ankara as of tonight, was supposed to land in Istanbul by 11 PM, but they keep on delaying it. The Interior Minister gave a speech full of blatant lies. Claimed no police attacked the Swan Park in Ankara, and when people pointed out that was untrue, he claimed that they had it wrong. OK… He also claimed that the injured young man who fell off the construction site of the cultural center the other day was pushed by the protestors. If he could only come to Taksim, he would see how people apologie to one another even if they push each other by mistake – this isn’t just a lie, it’s slander in its worst form. But this is the man who was the head of Istanbul Police Force when Hrant Dink was murdered. Enough said.

As far as my personal observations go, it was yet another peaceful and happy day. Morning walk through Cihangir, site of many gassings over the weekend: not even any graffiti on the walls, all seems normal. Protest march with academics from Tunel to Taksim: big crowd, very supportive onlookers, all in all a good experience. Taksim is the same, too many party flags around the square and on the cultural center I think, but the park remains a party-free zone. I mentioned the main food and medic center, there are many more at this point, and a well-drawn plan of the whole area. More organized than anything this government has ever done. I didn’t stay very long, it was getting even more crowded than last night. I was afraid people would lose interest after the weekend, but I’m (happily) proven wrong.

In other news, one of the AKP members (may be a minister, sorry, not sure) declared that CHP (the main opposition party) should apologize for organizing the protests. We’ll say it again and again – this is a grassroots movement, not connected to any political organization. If CHP were strong enough to organize such an event, we wouldn’t even need to have these protests. It is amazıng how much they don’t/can’t/won’t understand the nature of what is going on.

And on a sad note, a police officer died today, falling off a construction while pursuing some protestors. I’m no fan of the police, but this is a pointless way to die (if there ever were a non-pointless way…). My only hope is that it will be a sign of how nonsensical the whole situation is.

Things seem to be pretty calm in Istanbul and most of the country, with some tension in Ankara. The creativity boost continues with tweets and slogans, and most significant input for today comes from Kardeş Türküler. PM made a statement about the noise protests held around the cities, where people bang on pots and pans. This song is a reaction to that.
We do realize that we are living in very different times. History is being written. Nothing may change directly at the end of these protests, they might even still re-build the barracks, but I want to believe that something has already changed in the way we look at each other and in out faith in ourselves.

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