Istanbul student writes to eTN to report police madness

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ISTANBUL, Turkey (eTN) – Things are worse in Istanbul right now. Police are resting during the daytime and attacking at night. We cannot believe the limited footages we see. It is very intense. We need the international press to report the police madness here.

ETurboNews continues to receive updates on the situation in Istanbul, Turkey, and publishes this letter from a university student there:

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I’m writing on behalf of my friends. I’m a 22-year-old university student from Istanbul. I saw your e-mail address on Twitter.

As you know, Istanbul is the cultural and economic capital of Turkey, and Taksim is the heart of the city. But today Taksim is also the home of resistance, opposition, and maybe awakening.

On Monday, people gathered in Gezi Park which is the only vivid green area near the district, to protest the decisions enabling to destroy this beautiful symbol of Taksim and to build a big shopping mall there instead. The protests started as a nonthreatening sit-in, people were reading on the grass, playing their guitars, and singing together. They even tried to share their food with the police forces surrounding them.

After 4 days, that scene changed dramatically. At 5:00 am Friday morning, police forces started to use water cannons on sleeping people and made a mess of their tents. First, hundreds become thousands in Taksim. Everyone who wanted to stand up to this cruel intervention of the police went there. There were artists, poets, journalists, writers, and university students, so no one can say that it was a protest without awareness.

On the contrary, it was the awakening of Turkish society. Many tweeted that they were going to Taksim not for just Gezi Park but also for the silence of the government after the Reyhanli bombing, the ban of basic rights, serious “advices” of the government concerning discussions on family structure and abortion but mostly for Erdogan’s attitudes towards his people. (He gets more repressive and deaf to his people day by day.) This is Turkish people standing up for what they believe in and trying to avoid this situation worsening. They all say that they are doing this for their future, for the next generations. Even the least politically engaged generation Turkey has ever seen is actually roaring, aiming to be heard and listened.

However, now PM Erdogan is calling those people “marginal groups.” Moreover, the police forces are trying to kill them by cruelly using tear gas. Right now, there are dozens of people waiting for help on the streets especially in Besiktas, another famous district of the city.

It has been 48 hours since the clashes began, and it doesn’t seem to be ending soon. At least we know that the fight on the streets might end, but for those of us fed up with condescending, inconsistent, and abusive ways of our PM, hope is on the horizon.

A minister is someone the public voted for, the PM is the one that is responsible for and to his people. He must be a leader, a pioneer, a negotiator at times, and at times like this, he must be the help his people are reaching out for. He should so the best for the country, even if it means to have a failure on his part. The real question here is, how can a PM stand still when the incidents are this severe? We see police forces abusing their power, beating people heavily, using plastic bullets, so at the end of the day it comes down to this: how can he put up with the pictures, videos, and news from the sights where the excessive force can be detected clearly?

And it’s not even just Istanbul anymore, dozens of cities in Turkey like the capital Ankara, Izmir, Adana, and Eskisehir are burning with this fire of freedom.

Is it that hard to accept negotiations with the people? The trigger is most likely the words of Erdogan, that “they” had already made their decision concerning Gezi Park, implying there is nothing people can do (yes, he really said that). Well, we did prove him wrong, didn’t we?

By the way, on the second day of the clashes, after the police ran out of tear gas bombs, they started to use some other chemical gas bombs. As I said before, especially in Besiktas today, we’ve seen people being ambushed. Police attacked Bahcesehir University, because there were medical treatments to the injured people within the campus. Can you believe that?

Unfortunately, Turkish media doesn’t work. That’s the unkindest cut of all. They only say that some “marginal” groups attacked police in Taksim. Thus, we need you support to be able to raise our voice. We need the help of the international media. Please don’t be a part of that violence by ignoring us.

Things are worse right now. Police are resting during the daytime and attacking at night. We cannot believe the limited footages we see. Erdogan is leaving for Tunisia tomorrow. It is very intense. We need the international press to report the police madness here.

FInd out more about the Student reporting from Turkey: http://www.jessicastockwell.com/traveljournalist.html