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 9th, 2013, 12:07 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Our daughter just left for the Ankara airport at 9 pm for a 5 am flight home. Otherwise she said the tear gas would make it impossible to leave the apartment and/or get a taxi. Tear gas and all she will really miss Turkey.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2013, 01:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
How it all started, on amateur camera :


Taksim peaceful tonight.

Police violence at Anakara again.

PM making hate speeches 4 of them today. Psychologists see lots of anxiety on his face and behavior.

Vice PM Bulent Arinc spoke with religious examples against greed and feelings of superiority, and need to listen to everyone with a clear mind. Is he hoping to replace PM if the possibility arises?

Am very interested in stock market and standing of Turkish Lira after PM's aggressive speeches today.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2013, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 27
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hello. Question. My family (including 4 kids) is scheduled to visit Istanbul for 3 weeks at the end of July. We are seriously contemplating changing our plans. We live in Boston and as we have just experienced our own disconcerting turmoil, the last thing we want out of a holiday is discontent and the possibility of violence. Am I overreacting or is the situation a significant one?
simplicitas is offline  
Old Jun 9th, 2013, 08:59 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Simplicitas, It is too early to tell with certainty since these kinds of situations are hard to foresee.

However, even at the thick of the protests there was no problem for the tourists. In fact, with some cancellations, you probably will have an easier time with museum visits.

The protesters are peaceful and do not exhibit any violent behavior. The police have been violent but only towards the protesters. Thus, staying away from any protests, as most North American state advisories state is enough for anyone coming to Istanbul to feel perfectly safe.

I think that the situation will become either a continuous but smaller sit down protest at Taksim throughout this Summer or a witch hunt and further curtailment of civil liberties after a brutal crackdown within the coming week or two.

In either case, the tourist will not suffer.

I hope though that you will not only do Istanbul for all of your 3 week stay but will be able to visit some other locations you and the kids should enjoy as much.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 08:01 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi there Othercelebi. I will be leaving on 12.6 for Istanbul to attend a wedding of a Turkish friend. I booked a hotel at the Sultanehmet area. Wedding is held on the Asian side, at the NOVADA SHOPPING CENTER. I hope I won't end up spending most of my time in the hotel. But after reading what you have posted, it is very assuring that tourists are safe to move around. I wanted to spend a few days visiting some of the other areas around Istanbul,but it looks as though it may so convenient now. I am currently following you on your twitter. And hope you can provide updates every now and then. Thank you very much.
johnsonng1954 is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 08:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
I am waiting for the Council of Ministers meeting result and also the spokesman for the Taksim Platform of the protesters who have been in meeting since 10 or 11 AM this morning.

Cleaning the streets around Taksim square of the barricades will help us to move about also, saving us a great deal of time, because we have been rushing about wrong way on one way streets just to get awat from our district.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 09:22 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,177
Received 22 Likes on 4 Posts
I would like to follow you on Twitter. What is your Twitter name? @?
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 11:41 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 26,243
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We arrived today. Our hotel is in Sultanhamet, near the entrance to Topkapi. We had lunch, went to Topkapi, out to dinner and a long walk, all in the general area of Sultanhamet, and you would simply have no idea in this area that there was anything bad happening elsewhere in the city. Strictly "business as usual" here.
sf7307 is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 11:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts

welcome sf307. Glad everything is fine. Call me if you have any problems 212 2938800.

Could not listen to press release by vice PM. Only know that he said he would be meeting NGO representatives on Wednesday.

PM's party is having cracks. Some former minister deputies are speaking against him for the first time in ten years.

The sect leader F. Gulen also sent message for him to forget desires to be a dictator from his farm in Pennsylvania.

Even the extremists at Gazi district of Istanbul are being left alone so far this evening.

I hope Cold's daughter is on the way back or will be tomorrow with no further problems.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 04:29 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 11,656
Likes: 0
Received 7 Likes on 1 Post
@sf-glad to hear. Enjoy your trip.
yestravel is offline  
Old Jun 10th, 2013, 10:26 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
Tuesday Morning.

Police moved on Taksim Square, as I was afraid, supposedly to remove posters and barricades.

There were some clashes, not clear whether with real protesters or with planted agitators.

So some pepper gas and water cannon use, including those directed at CNN, Reuters reporters and offices, etc.

The square is almost empty for the time being but the Park is full and protesters gathered at steps of the Park.

Under the circumstances, I do not advise curious tourists to go up towards Taksim and Istikla today.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 02:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
All metro, funicular and bus to and passing through Taksim has been shut down to restrict movements of reinforcements of protesters to Taksim.

The PM has been giving a very long speech of all he did including his similarity to Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453.

The rhetoric is the same as all his previous speeches, written by the same ignorant, illiterate speech writers who probably are interested to se how far they can get him in his agitation of the people in this country and all concerned media, leaders and people abroad.

He blames everything on his opposition, foreign media, Turkish and foreign capital, the "interest lobby" whatever that is, leftists, foreign countries, foreign agents, terrorists.

The family of the police detective who died some days ago by falling off a bridge in Adana while chasing protesters stated to the police that their son's death had nothing to do with any protester. Yet, the PM still says he was killed.

The Imam of Dolmabahce mosque said publicly and as also published in an Islamist newspaper that the protesters he allowed into the mosque were all injured kids and medical first aid giving peopl and that there was no consumption of alcoholic beverages. Yet, PM states again that the imam was threatend to speak like that and has beenput under investigation by his superiors and the police. I wonder who is really threatening him?

I had two meetings today but decided to postpone them in case it heats up in the area despite most barricades on approach roads to Taksim having been removed by the police.

Warning : Do not get close to Tarlabasi, Taksim, Gumussuyu area and Istiklal Street between Galatasaray and Taksim today and tonight. There are too many police with water cannons and gas and growing crowd of protesters in the Park.

The more the PM speaks, the more defiant the people are becoming and the more aggressive the AKP supporters will be becoming. I really believe that the PM wishes for at least one major clash between the protesters and his islamit/jihadist supporters.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 02:53 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 17,106
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your own pictures as well links to others' photos and videos.

This is truly the time when "one picture is worth 1000 words"!

So many of the protesters are young people!
easytraveler is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 04:24 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 1,929
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I arrived in Istanbul last night and have been out and about all day. My observations:
Sultan Ahmet is all as usual.
Maybe fewer tourists and certainly less traffic. Made me wonder if some roads have bee closed off even here.
There is no access to the Funicular at Kabatas. Presumably to stop people getting to Taksim on it.
So I went the other way round to Karakoy and up on the Tunel. Lots of people in Istiklal, no little red tram running.
As I got further towards Taksim there was teargas everywhere. Impromptu vendors selling masks and goggles. I could hear what sounded like a party going on ahead, taiko drumming and chanting. Didn' t go any further as by now my eyes were streaming and I had the familiar nasty taste in my mouth.
There are police everywhere, mainly unobtrusive and mainly on motorbikes, though I saw police vans parked on the Galata bridge.
And that was at around 2 this afternoon.

No reason for tourists to avoid Istanbul, it is still as wonderful as ever. Just keep away from Taksim if you
don't like teargas.
gertie3751 is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 04:36 AM
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 650
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
To all, whether visitors or Turks, stay safe and strong.
BigAleinstein is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 04:44 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts
gertie 3751,
You really are adventurous.
For those who wish to follow Gertie;s path, have goggles, an asthma inhaler (only 7TL at pharmacy here), a small spray bottle of milk with fout antacid tablets crumbled and mixed in it to wash your eyes and maybe even to take a sip.

Make sure you prepare the bottle anew each time you venture into the area before the milk goes sour on you.

I am afraid the police are looking for an excuse or trying to concoct one to attack the people in the park.

So, as Gertie said, if you do not like pepper gas or the possibility of being arrested as a foreign agitator/spy, maybe you should stay a reasonable distance away.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 05:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 57,091
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
BBC radio news had reports this morning from their reporter duly kitted out in goggles and mask on how the police were attacking the sleeping demonstrators with gas and water cannon. Also a report from a young protestor talking about how the proposed talks tomorrow between protesters and PM may not now go ahead. [query if this is the intention of the government anyway to give themselves an excuse not to talk].

the behaviour of the turkish authorities is playing very badly here.
annhig is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 12
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We arrived yesterday afternoon. Staying in Beyoglu area (Firuzaga) and so far have loved everything we have seen. DH and BIL went to Taksim last night and said it was one big party. We walked all over today but did not go by Taksim. Everything was fine although some in our party said they could smell and taste tear gas. I did not. Simply a beautiful, vibrant, friendly city. No hint of anything amiss. Hope it stays like this! Have eaten great food, went to top of Galata tower for magnificent views of city, and walked and walked around. Love this city!!!
marymoess is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 07:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,326
Received 4 Likes on 2 Posts

please tell DH and BIL not to go again tonight and try to watch CNNTurk, Channels 50, 51 or 53 on digiturk decoder or Channel 89 on DSmart decoder for direct coverage.

Ann, unfortunately, BBC had almost no coverage of the tens of wounded and hundreds arrested at Ankara protests almost every night.

Today, there are large protests in more than 25 cities in Turkey not even mentioned by regular media, all starting at 7 PM.

I can see that Taksim crowds are swelling close to the 100,000 mark with the police withdrawing some distance or being pushed back by some groups.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Jun 11th, 2013, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 12,820
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

A man was shot by the Ankara police yesterday...
kismetchimera is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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