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Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Brutal Crack Down on Peaceful Environmental Protest

Old Jun 4th, 2013, 12:54 PM
  #121  
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Here is a good video presentation of the recent events :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=demnc4sQ0VI


The latest news on +1 TV is that 16 people have been arrested in Izmir for "inciting the public to rebel against the Turkish government on the social media"

Thank you Progol for your wishes.

Thanks Big Al for the additional materiel.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:24 PM
  #122  
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I do not know how but we really got gassed in the house because the balcony door and the kitchen window were open. The amount must have been really large.

We will probably leave the living room and go to the back bedrooms areas.

OK. The TV says they heard of a big police attack between dolmabahce and Besiktas. That is almost a mile from our house !!!!
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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BigA

I have no idea why the current atrocities in Turkey serve as a vessel for you to spill your vitriol..

If it really is a matter of importance vis-a-vis what is currently going on in Turkey (which I doubt):

1) 25% unemployment is questionable as there are no statistical sources to measure "Turks" in Germany. Unless someone holds a foreign passport, it is not possible to determine his/her race or origin. If someone of Turkish origin acquired German citizenship his ancestry must not be kept on record.
2) Being unemployed is not equal to "being treated like garbage". The latter may be true in 2nd rate economies without a social security net, but Germany pumps billions into unemployment payments and social security and universal health care. So there are no slums or poor people dying from illnesses because they cannot get excellent health care. An unemployed Turkish factory worker gets the same PET scan and heart transplant here as the billionaire.
3) Historically, the largest Turkish communinities are in big cities like Berlin. Where unemployment is much higher, unfortunately, than the national average.
4) No one said that relations between Turks or Turk-Germans of 1st, 2nd, now 3rd generations and the rest are all wonderful and without frictions. But your style of condescending simplifying remarks simply does not take into account the reality that the different ethnic groups are trying hard to live together in peace. And I will not even touch the subject of Turks and Kurds living here together next door to eachother.
5) While it may not fit into your world of prejudices, the Turkish or Turkish-origin communities are as much a part of German society as the Russo-German emigrants or anyone else who lives here. We have beautiful new mosques in Berlin and Cologne that don't have to hide behind churches, bi-lingual German/Turkish schools, and Islam is the number 2 religion of the country. And none of the Muslim extremists have come from the Turkish communities.
6) During his last state visit, it had been no one less than Erdogan who preached to "his people" that they must not integrate into the society around them but should remain seperate.
7) I will not even comment on your final statement on "some of my best friends are Turks"... that had been low - even by your standards.

Now back to what is really relevant.. and that's what is going on in Turkey and not Germany.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 02:45 PM
  #124  
 
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OC - the gas sounds nasty, and everything happening far too close to your house for comfort. try to keep us posted, but not at the expense of your health and safety.

BTW, I'm really not sure what BigAl and Cowboy are arguing about, to me it seems as if you agree about fundamentals.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 04:08 PM
  #125  
 
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BigAl and Cowboy -- take it somewhere else, please.

OC, watch yourself. Thanks for the reportage and the photos.

Is Erdogan attempting to rehabilitate the Ottomans to further the Islamization of Ataturk's secular republic? If so he has a long battle against history, no?
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 04:17 PM
  #126  
 
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Thanks for posting OC. We are set for 2 weeks in Turkey in mid July and your insights are appreciated.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 08:21 PM
  #127  
 
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OC, friends called tonight to encourage us not to go. We are still waffling, of course. They heard that Istiklal St. Was closed from end to end - true? Are any restaurants in Beyoglu/Taksim open? What about shops? (Remember, we're staying in Sultanhamet (against your advice ).
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Just came across this thread.

OC, please stay safe, for yourself and yours.

I've been following the events in your country on Guardian News and El Jazeera.

As I seem to understand it, this isn't just about a few trees, it's about Erdogan trying to destroy Taksim Square, the symbol of Modern Turkey. It appears that people were also upset over the naming of the third Bosphorus bridge after Sultan Selim "The Grim" instead of a more modern and more inspirational figure.

It saddens me that Erdogan has allowed his conservative religious side to dictate events in Turkey and, seemingly, to turn the country backwards and to destroy what Ataturk had achieved.

I'm still hoping for the best, cheering Turkey on and hoping against hope that the European nations would get over their religious biases and have Turkey as a full-fledged member of the EU.

Again, I wish you and yours the best and please stay safe. These are dangerous times.

Thank you for your on-the-spot reporting. They are invaluable and you are a brave man.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 12:06 AM
  #129  
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sf,

I find it strange that you listen to people who are not here instead of reading this thread and looking at the photos on my blog.

I suggest you take a look at the link for the youtube video and the photographs i have posted and read their captions.

I have been posting photos from Istiklal and Taksim square for two days now. We have gone to eat there, visited my bank, bought a cell phone, lottery tickets, shoes for Eser, etc.

This is not a revolution. The protesters are not violent. The police are violent and brutal but only towards the protesters and at certain spots and at certain locations, totally away from touristic areas.
Neither is Turkey an Arabic country where the people had no chance to follow peaceful means to forward their wishes and desires.

Cowboy, I wish you had not made a big issue of BigAl's remark and confuse the readers on this thread.

Fra Diavolo, easytraveler and others. thanks for your well wishes. Eser went for her hair today and then a bridge game. I hope she remembers to come back before 5 PM and the main streets around our house get too busy before possible protest and police movements after 7 PM.

Our home is almost inaccessible by vehicular traffic after 7PM or so. The streets leading up towards the main avenue between Taksim Square and Dolmabahce Palace are still barricaded and the ones leading down to the shore and Kabatas are all one way and very narrow, with displaced cars moving about in the maze trying to find a way out.

To repeat, the main reason that there is pepper ga and water cannon aroud Dolmabahce Palace is that the Prime Minister has an office there and the police feel that it is a target for the protesters, thus, possibly, making it a target.

Unfortunately a very important thoroughfare goes in front of the palace and once the police see any group activity after dark the traffic gets blocked for miles. It was strange to see traffic moving within the tear gas haze on TV last night, near the palace, as if there was nothing unusual.

Yesterday, we took a lot of medical supplies to the main first aid station next to Marmara Taksim Hotel, as well as some food supplies and milk which they use to mix with antacids and keep in spray bottles to help wash eyes which are hurt by tear gas.
Fortunately, inhalers are quite cheap here, so we could get a score of them to help protesters with asthma who can of'course be killed by pepper gas. It was interesting to see so many people who did not appear to be able to afford it buying supplies at a small supermarket and a pharmacy near Taksim and delivering to these stations.

Eser and I will start preparing a slide show of some of our photos with some music and written comments for a youtube presentation also.

The Bosphorus looks so peaceful this morning from our balcony, and the streets with only neighborhood noises of a mother scolding her kid, and no traffic as in the very old days, now that drivers finally realized, there is no way out of this maze.
Just pizza and other food and water delivery scooters and the corner grocery making record sales, praying for continued protests possibly.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:17 AM
  #130  
 
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I assume you're referring to me. Not so strange that friends here would be concerned, but that's exactly why I did come here to ask you. Frankly, if you say it's fine for tourists to come, then we're coming (pretty strange that we would trust a complete stranger, don't you think )
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:33 AM
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This is the latest video from last night protest in Ankara..

http://video.repubblica.it/dossier/t...83?ref=HREC1-4
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:35 AM
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This partisan song from WWII became the protesters Anthem..

http://video.repubblica.it/dossier/t...88?ref=HREC1-4

How are you doing otherchelebi? Please be careful
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:36 AM
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OC-We are following your blog and are so thankful to have access to it. Best wishes to you, and your family, friends at this difficult time.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:43 AM
  #134  
 
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Thanks for the updates. It is always looks different from the inside, no matter how honest and unbiased the good reporters try to be.

Stay well and safe.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 06:47 AM
  #135  
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Here's another video, from a group government authorities do not like at all :


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai84-...are_video_user

Today, there is a strike by some labour syndicates which joined protesters mostly at Ankara but also at Taksim.

This gave a respite to the Ankara protesters who were not attacked by the police but were ordered to disperse after 5 PM.
The gathering is going on, and in fact growing, after 5 now and there is a great deal of celebration, with dancing and songs. However, the police may decide that that is too much fun and decide to move in at some stage.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #136  
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Regarding coming to Turkey within the next few months :

1. I can only speak for the next few weeks, as I find it difficult to forecast.

2. Under the current conditions, you can easily visit Istanbul and all historic and beach locations in Turkey except for the areas bordering Syria with no worries, at whatever age, alone as a couple, even with kids or babies, as long as you follow the news, consult your hotel and/or guide for any changes, and follow these simple rules :
- Know your limitations regarding mobility and physical ability if you wish to be adventurous and get close to protest areas which are known to be peaceful.
- Never get within less than half a mile of protests in areas known to have drawn police interference. These are all standard and known by the locals you would be in contact with when you arrive, so no need to memorize beforehand.
- In Istanbul, try to use trams and boats for transportation as much as possible.

- When taking local flights, prefer the private airlines, Pegasus and Atlas because there is a strike at THY and the word is that they are flying with less experienced, less trained, less rested crew and the planes are not getting the required maintenance because of the strike. Anadolu Jet and Sunexpress are THY companies.

- This is expected to be one of the hottest months in years, so be well prepared with hats, sun screen, sun glasses, etc.

- Chaotic times invite the less pleasant groups in every society to crowded areas, so be extra careful against pickpockets and purse snatchers. A well known sign, also used frequently by the Spanish pickpockets is people suddenly bumping into you.

- Stay away from religiously attired and/or bearded men in groups who look like they belong in a silent movie, not that you will see many.

- Enjoy every minute of a fabulous trip.

You will be in a country where the people are putting aside their differences and realizing that they are all part of the same downtrodden public, and that their common interests are more important than their individual ones. Something which is a novelty for Eastern Europe and the Balkans let alone the Middle East.

Both I and Eser cried on Tuesday and Wednesday, watching the marching and chanting proud young high school kids at Taksim, coming out of their schools to join the protest, showing no signs of fear, uncowed, with the feeling, if not the knowledge, that the future of this world belongs to them.
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 08:17 AM
  #137  
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The police attack started at 7 PM, when the groups in Ankara did not disperse.

Here's a new entry into Wikipedia :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chapulling
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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Thank you so much for bringing the local, reasoned perspective to this. I would not hesitate to visit again, and I hope the best for your wonderful country!
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 09:27 AM
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How do you think this will all end?
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Old Jun 5th, 2013, 09:49 AM
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We have a trip planned to Istanbul in two months, bringing our children. I had purchased travel insurance and just contacted them to see about making a claim should the civil unrest still be occurring at the time of our trip.

The insurance company told me that civil unrest and any acts of war (declared or undeclared) are not covered. Guess I should have read the policy more carefully, but would have bought it anyway. We had no clue that such events were imminent in Istanbul.

I'm not saying we will not be going to Istanbul as planned (and already paid for... flights & hotel). However, it's nice to know what our options are. Doesn't look like there are many: go or cancel, but lose the money we've paid.

We will evaluate, of course, as the time nears.

By the way, this is the second time we've purchased travel insurance that has not covered what we expected. The other time involved a paid flight to LAX to meet up with a flight to Europe using frequent flyer miles. The paid flight was canceled so we had no choice but to purchase a walk-up fare to LAX on another airline so we wouldn't miss our flight to Europe.

The insurance company (Travelguard) denied the claim saying it was the first airline's responsibility to get us to LAX, even though we would have missed our connection. Pretty useless insurance, in our cases.
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