Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:01 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

We are currently witnessing a good example of how an authoritarian government can start digging a hole with walls ready to cave in for itself.

Three days ago, there were less than thirty of our Ayaspasa Neighborhood Environmental Group, a part of the Taksim Platform, keeping a night watch in their tents over a group of 50-100 year old trees at the edge of Taksim Park.

At about 5 AM in the morning, a large robocop force with huge water cannons and pepper gas came on the scene, kicked the sleping watchers awake, forced them out of their tents and ordered them to sit on a side in a group. Then, before saying anythingelse to anyone, they proceeded to douze them with the water cannon and spray the scatterers with pepper gas. Next, 6-19 drees were chopped totally and the roots dug up sparately by buldozers.

The news was spread on the social media and by 9 AM, there were 2-300 people on the scene, followed by two members from opposition parties. The police attacked again, causing the collapse of wall which injured some people who had taken refuge there, killing one, and wounding a number of others including the two MPs at a later showdown
on Saturday.

Today, the crowds may have grown to hundred thousand or more at different parts of the city, tens of thousands at other cities like Ankara, Izmir, Eskisehir, Bursa, Adana, Afyon, Bodrum, Edirne, Tekirdag also gathering to show solidarity.

I could not stop my daughter, a hitherto uncaring lady of 33 and her fiance from joining and neither a nephew who is only sixteen.

The Prime Minister spoke to the Associateion of Turkish Exporters a few hours ago on Sunday afternoon, saying that this was just a few extremist groups who were hoping for political benefits, how everybody loved him and his party, that he was going to have police there today and tomorrow and would to assist in the security of the people.
We live in the area and have to keep all windows closed to protect ourselves from pepper gas; we see running people; only a few TV channels have the courage to broadcast live coverage.
3G coverage, police and tourist cameras are shut for public use;
A coded network is on the way to being shut down because they carry opposing TV channels;
hundreds injured;
we do not know how many lives lost
no evidence of any violence against the police
lots of photos on international media of police spraying environmentalists directly in the eye or shootin at them with tear gas guns and hitting them in the head and upper torso with the canisters.

Lots of Info on Twitter, facebook and all news channels.

Here are the questions :

1. Will this become the end of the Prime Minister and another Tahrir Square?
2. How could he have gotten out of it before it became so wide spread?
3. Why didn't he do it?
4. Why is he still defiant?
5. Is he hoping that the United States will help him out of this difficult situation?
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:09 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
OC - here is the current BBC internet info about what is going on, it's very similar to what you are telling us.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22740282

they do talk about things being thrown at the police but the implication is in self-defence.

taking a longer view, it doesn't do much for Turkey's desires to join the EC.

stay safe, please.
annhig is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 10,373
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 1 Post
Our news is lagging a bit but I've been following the story. Hope you and yours get through this all right. The PM does seem to have alienated many people lately with his increasingly autocratic behavior.
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 04:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our daughter was in the middle of it in Ankara last night. Her roommate was teargassed.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 05:07 AM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
The good news finally came about ten minutes ago, with the police withdrawing from at least one route into Taksim Square. A huge crowd is moving into the square and the park chanting anti government and anti sided media.

It is unfortunate that the police made one last show of force, hitting the crowd with another barrage of pepper gas bombs before withdrawing. There is general fear that they may attack against once the square is full.

My daughter and fiance are moving with a group from Cumhuriyet Caddesi. My Cousin and nephew are moving from close to our home on Gumussuyu. We have both on the spot Halk TV (people TV) Channel 53 and telephone connection.

There is still violence against protesters at Ankara and at Hatay, near the Syrian border.

The police around the Primeministry has asked for reinforcements from the military who came in to set up barricades.

An opposition parliamentarian was beaten up by the police recently at Ankara.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 05:16 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Cold, I hope she is fine now and her home and school are not close to any of the protest locations. And speedy recovery to her roommate who probably found out about dousing eyes with bicarbonate of soda.

New pepper attack started on the Cumhuriyet Street approach to Taksim, where our daughter is. We are trying to convince her to stay back and go back to Nisantasi.

The big attack came few minutes ago against possibly 10-20,000 getting into Taksim square upon info by the Governor that the police will withdraw.

This was apparently a tactic to hit as many as possible.

More people are coming in again and we hear the pepper gas bombs.

I guess the government is trying to see if they can beat Mubarek and Assad in the same game.

Reminds me of the Turkish PM saying just last year and multiple times, "Listen to Your People Al Essed!"
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 05:17 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
DEfinitely not the time to visit Turkey.

Wait for word from me for those who have time to postpone.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
She was sending video home during the night. Sounds like activity is focused in Kizilay in Ankara right now. Apparently some fires.

Social media is pretty powerful. I wonder if the government will try and shut it down.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:29 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
What a nightmare!

What does Orhan Pamuk have to say about this?

I would be interested to know.

Do you think the tent city was causing a major traffic flow problem because Taksim Sq. is a transportation hub and a very crowded place in Istanbul?

Thin, who has sat with his mother in Taxim Sq.
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:35 AM
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Thin, what you call tent city were 5 or 6 tents under the trees in the park, across from Divan hotel next to a blocked of construction site. Are you joking about traffic or blocking people or vehicles in a park at 5 AM in the morning?.
This is serious, please read original post carefully.

Orhan Pamuk is a renegade Robert College graduate who was mistreated by his father and has sided with the ruling Islamist party on most occasions. I could not care what he says, since he has no political, philosophycal or social views worthy of consideration.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:37 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Internet now down in parts of Istanbul and Ankara. Some Facebook sites not working. I think I'll stop reading my text messages.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:42 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
No, I am not joking.

I was simply asking a question.

I am not in Istanbul so I don't know.

I have had dinner in the Hotel Divan, by the way.

Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 06:43 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Most restaurants in Taksim, on Istiklal, siraselviler and Gumussuyu street are offering free food, water and care to the protesters.

There are Turkish flags hanging from most building with housewives and elderly people banging on pots and pans from the windows if they can open them, to show solidarity.

This is definitely a mass movement if there ever was one in Turkey.

The PM is getting more defiant and vicious, and his spokesmen sent a tweet reminding the media to show good sense and thanking those who toed the party line.

The Mayor also came up and started narrating a story of how they have so far planted 2,000 trees in istanbul.

Taksim Platform says that the total number of uprooted trees are about one hundred during the last year of road building near Taksim Square and that the plan calls for the reduction of the size of the park by 750 square meters before the construction of the supposedly historic military barracks to replace the park.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:00 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,247
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
wow... I'm supposed to go to Istanbul in 1 1/2 weeks.. mostly for business, but also planned to add a few nights to explore the city
Hope that there will be a peaceful and democratic way out of this turmoil..
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:18 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,584
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
That is strange what you write about Pamuk since he skewered the state-controlled press; the Islamists; the headscarf women; the military; and the name-changing, game-playing political parties in his novel Snow.


Thin
Pepper_von_snoot is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,018
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Waldo is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:34 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gee I wonder where Waldo is?
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:37 AM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
There is a chap at Trip Advisor who managed to remove my thread on this subject and three of my posts on another, saying I was scaring tourists. The following is my latest response which will probably be removed again :

Please follow Borus's advice. It will all get better very soon.

The police conducted four more sorties with pepper gas after their initial withdrawal to the sides of Taksim Square and side streets, but those are just minor incidents.

United States posted a travel advisory of sorts, but what do they know.

Our daughter and two nephews are in the crowds taking photographs but Borus says they are horror stories no one should be subjected to.

The Primeministry in Ankara has asked for reinforcements from the military who came and set up additional barricades.

Most restaurants in and around Taksim and Istiklal are open and offering free food, water and care.

A very good reason for tourists on a budget to visit, especially those considering immunity against pepper gas.

There has absolutely been no violence against the police which apparently bothers them and makes them more vicious. However, some provocation against the police conducted by by someone who desires vilolence can be blamed on the innocently protesting groups and/or the opposition party.

Interesting to note that the deeply fundamentalist Kayseri population are also protesting at this hour. Note that Kayseri is one of the routes to Cappadocia.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 07:41 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,175
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
OC. So sorry to learn about all of this going on in your beautiful country. Stay safe. There was a photo in our local paper here in the US titled "Tree protest" lacking any of your relevant details, made it sound like a minor incident.
We have reservations in Istanbul and beyond late summer and will follow your posts closely.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Jun 1st, 2013, 08:04 AM
  #20  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hang in there, I see Eser pictures on FB. It is a worthwhile battle with many important undercurrents.
BigAleinstein is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Your Privacy Choices -