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Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 08:37 AM
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OC, how horrible to read what power run amok can cause. Stay safe.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 10:41 AM
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My husband and I are flying out to Istanbul tomorrow and will be there for the next few days. I am so worried about having to navigate the city on our own with all of this going on. Any advice on what to watch out for, what areas to avoid, and how to stay safe? We are staying in Sultanahmet.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Marnie - she certainly has a sense of humour. It is exam week and she says can't study with all the protestors banging pots and pans. This is after she comes in from the protests herself. She plans on asking for a public unrest bonus of 20%.

Actually there is a petition at her school to delay exams.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:22 PM
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Thanks for the continued reports. Stay safe everyone.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:26 PM
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Cold, I hope your daughter is not around Kizilay Square and will not go there. It looked peaceful there on TV until about an hour ago, and then the cops rushed down a street chasing the young people some of whom were caught and others took refuge in Popeye's , Burger King and couple of open stores. All those were dragged out possibly including the actual patrons and were arrested and sent to where ever in male-female segregated buses. Some opposition party MPs who were unsuccessful in stopping the arrests rode with some of the buses and lawyers from the Ankara bar association were also doing their best to help.

The Union of Turkish Bar Associations, The Istanbul and Ankara bar association and possibly others have set up temporary offices to assist all those in trouble with the police.

The same is true for the Turkish medical association and Turkish Health Workers Association. They are on call 24 hours and have set up health care stations as well as the the Turkish Rescue Association.

The number of protests went to over one hundred at over 60 cities in Turkey.

While all this is happening the Prime Minister gave a three hour interview with pre-prepared questions, again in a very defiant manner, saying things like :
-we will build the barracks at Taksim because that is what we decided
- we will also build a mosque in Taksim.
- Cuddling or hugging people in the metro is against my code of ethics. In fact, I am against people hugging each other or those of different sex sitting alone at a park bench talking.
- I am not fully banning alcohol. I have some followers who have a drink once or twice a month or per year.
- These peoples are just riff raff or those who are misguided by my opposition.

Channel 53 is saying that most of the police are very young and foreign to Istanbul, having been brought from other cities. So they can and do get scared and become trigger happy.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:39 PM
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I agree with FlannerUK.

There is a BIG difference between tear gas and AGENT ORANGE.

I see no news reports that show the Istanbul police are shooting Agent Orange at protesters.


I also think it is irresponsible to call the BBC
"uncaring."


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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:39 PM
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Otherchelebi - she is on the METU campus where there are also very large protests. But her boyfriend's apartment faces just off of Kizilay Square. He has been sending some pretty awful video.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 12:41 PM
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Isemida, you should be fine in Sultanahmet, where there is almost no likelihood of protests.

However, your husband may have difficulty getting to his meetings if it means going through or close to Kabatas, Dolmabahce, Besiktas, However taxi cabs will know the best open routes and may take the opportunity to make them somewhat longer than they could be.
You can also very pleasantly take a Bosphorus cruise.

We managed to actually drive across the first bridge at about 2 PM to the tennis club, but the streets around the tennis club (especially Bagdad street)were totally blocked with flag waving and tin hitting protesters. They were joined by many pedestrians and spectators leaning from windows.

Upon leaving the Tennis Club after another magnificent stand up show with little mention of the troubles,
My great knowledge (ahem!) of the streets, maniac like driving ability and intelligence guided us five miles towards the Southeast, away from the maddening crowd and then backtrack to E5 and then to the Harem-Sirkeci ferry boat which was almost empty.

By that time the main routes to taksim and across from Dolmabahce through Besiktas were just closing, but we took some side streets up narrow hills and made it to our garage with just a little argument with other cars coming against us on the one way street because they could not get out of these streets with all the blocked accesses and exits towards Taksim.

Thanks for all those concerned for our safety.
Nese and fiancee were in the streets again today but got back safely.

My brother in law suffered some pepper gas because the police threw one through their window on a side street of Besiktas because some protestors had run into the building. His French, 16 year old step son joined the protests today and wanted to go out at night also.

I can understand mass movements, football audiences, mass hysteria, etc, having seen the most unlikely people get worked up about the protests, wanting to join with no thought about the consequences.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 01:17 PM
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All quite disturbing, OC. Thanks for posting. Since I don't think we always get the full story from the news, your firsthand information is so important.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 01:27 PM
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All the best to you, OC, and your loved ones and all those who put their lives and safety at risk in those protests.
You can be sure that the world is watching.. and it's a crying shame that the EU and the governments of Europe have been silent cowards during that last days and have not spoken up...
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:04 PM
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Here's a link to a report by Amnesty International from yesterday :
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/turke...bul-2013-06-01


Latest news is that the Primeminister will make a three day trip to Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, returning on Thursday. One of his former colleagues was asked what this meant, he said that the PM always avoided difficult situations.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:19 PM
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>>>In fact, I am against people hugging each other or those of different sex sitting alone at a park bench talking.

So it's ok for people of the same sex?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:21 PM
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So this is all over a mall vs a park? REALLY?

Wow.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:38 PM
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So this is all over a mall vs a park? REALLY?

Wow.
_____

Please correct me if I am wrong, but the edict by Erdoğan to destory the character of Taksim was a final straw. He has become more and more dictatorial and wants to change Turkey from a secular government to a more fundamentalist regime. Also his desire to become the most important non-oil Muslim economic power has aligned his interests with business over the people.

What is going throughout Turkey is a broad denounciation of his many of actions not just Taksim.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:49 PM
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WirePuppy, as Big said, this is so not just about the park. It's about the fear that Erdogan's government is trying to fundamentally change Ataturk's Turkey.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 06:25 PM
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Isemida, where are you staying in Istanbul? We would appreciate it no end if you would post tomorrow and the next day and let us know what you think from the point of view of a tourist. We are arriving a week from to or row, and are staying in Sultanhamet. If you can send an email with any advice (we're considering alternatives), my email address is sf7307 at gmail dot com. Thank you so much, and be safe.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:06 PM
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Sultanahmet is nowhere near Taksim Sq.

Although I would rather face tear gas than a Sultanahmet carpet salesman.


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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:07 PM
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Is it possible that the PM is actually against joining the EU?
Or did he think this turn toward the conservative and dictator-like reaction would go unnoticed?
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:10 PM
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We are leaving on the 9th for 5 days in Istanbul. Staying in Beyoglu, actually the flat we are renting says it is in the heart of Çukurcuma, about a 10 minute walk to Taksim Square. Not quite sure what to think at this point.
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 07:30 PM
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Is it possible that the PM is actually against joining the EU?
Or did he think this turn toward the conservative and dictator-like reaction would go unnoticed?
______
Turkey has been a member of NATO since 1952 and is known quantity in Europe. Erdoğan is duly elected. There has been much antagonism against Turkey in the EU because it is Muslim county. And the Turkish workers in Germany have never been treated well.

Erdoğan has long wanted to be part of EU as part of his economic master plan.
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