“When you’re angry you’re so beautiful, Turkiye!”

Two years ago today, 28 May 2013, it was the first day of occupy Gezi park, Taksim, İstanbul.

“A wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Turkey began on 28 May 2013, initially to contest the urban development plan for Istanbul’s Taksim Gezi Park. The protests were sparked by outrage at the violent eviction of a sit-in at the park protesting the plan.[79] Subsequently, supporting protests and strikes took place across Turkey protesting a wide range of concerns, at the core of which were issues of freedom of the press, of expression, assembly, and the government’s encroachment on Turkey’s secularism. With no centralised leadership beyond the small assembly that organized the original environmental protest, the protests have been compared to the occupy movement and the May 1968 events. Social media played a key part in the protests, not least because much of the Turkish media downplayed the protests, particularly in the early stages. 3.5 million of Turkey’s 80 million people are estimated to have taken an active part in almost 5,000 demonstrations across Turkey connected with the original Gezi Park protest… Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed the protesters as “a few looters” on 2 June…Their complaints ranged from the original local environmental concerns to such issues as the authoritarianism of Recep Tayyip Erdogan… Protesters called themselves çapulcu (looters), reappropriating Erdoğan’s insult for themselves (and coined the derivative “chapulling”, given the meaning of “fighting for your rights”). Many users on Twitter also changed their screenname and used çapulcu instead.” (Quotes and details continue from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gezi_Park_protests)

Occupy Gezi, has begun against Ottoman-era Taksim Military Barracks, which wants to be rebuilt at park by government. However, it was not just all about. It has triggered a lot of development before it. You can see the most the wikipedia link which I gave you upper lines.

The protests continued between 28 May 2013 and 20 August 2013. It has spread to 20 cities of Turkey. About 3.6 million people joined to the protests.

During the protest 8 young people have been killed with guns or after injured by police violence. One of them Berkin elvan was 14 years old when he’s injured with hit his head by a tear-gas canister fired by police. After 9 months later he died at hospital when he was 15.

During the protests tear gas, pepper sprays, chemicals which put in TOMA (Intervention Vehicle to Social Events) and the plastic bullets used by the police. (Hurriyet news: the tear gas in to the pressurized water: http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/saglik/23518148.asp)

The news about at first 20 days of protests, 130.00 tear gas flares has been used. ( Milliyet news: The gas of state has depleted in 20 days: http://www.milliyet.com.tr/devletin-gazi-20-gunde-bitti/gundem/detay/1724846/default.htm )

During the Gezi Park protests have been at least 8,150 people injured and 63 in serious or critical condition with at least 3 having a risk of death and at least 4,900 people has been arrested in custody.(from Wikipedia)
And just not people; 8 dogs, 63 cats, 1028 birds died because of used the pepper spray.

What was the reason for the disproportionate violence used by the police, what was the reason of all of them? Because Turkiye’s people had been unity, and power was scared. Maybe this was the second event that the folk has been united without discrimination of race, language, idea after the Turkish Independence war. Turkish nationalists, Kurdish nationalists, Kemalists(who followed Ataturk revolution), anti-capitalist Muslims, different football team supporters who never agreed with each other, and the others all acted with together.

That’s why, it was like a dream.

Despite bad incidents, humor was not abandoned ever. More than one writing that contained humor was reading on the banners, walls or vehicles at each action. In the following music video with subtitles provided as some of these banners.

This song was written within 3 days of Gezi protests by the Turkish rock band Duman, and it has been a song that always sung by people. It was like the anthem of Gezi events with the other two songs:) It’s translation in English as follows.

Thank you (cheerio!)

To your pepper, your gas,
Your batons, your sticks,
To your harsh kicks,
I say bring it on, bring it on
Attack me shamelessly, tirelessly
My eyes are burning but I don’t bow, nor do I lessen
I am still free I said
I am still right I said
to you
I am still human I said
Do you think I would give up, tell me
To your pepper, your gas,
Your batons, your sticks,
To your harsh kicks,
I say bring it on, bring it on
Your slap in our face
Your grudge against our voice
Cheers to all of you
Bring it on bring it on
Raise your hand without hesitation and fear
The squares belong to us, don’t forget it, this homeland is ours
I am still free I said
I am still right I said
to you
I am still human I said
Do you think I would give up, tell me…

In those days a lot of things have been experienced. As a result, the government was not able to build the barracks at there. And people saw what they can achieve when being unity. Anything is not like before anymore.

*And the title words “When you’re angry you’re so beautiful, Turkiye!” belong to Metin Ustundag who is Turkish cartoonist.

To breathe pepper spray during 224 days of 365 days

“Ban the Pepper Spray” Initiative which was created by 30 civil society organizations such as HRA, Mechanical Engineers Chambers, Turkey Medical Association has announced “Pepper Spray report of 2014”.

According to the report, due to the use of pepper spray in last year, 8 people have died; at least 453 people were injured. And, pepper spray was used in 224 days of 365 days. Turkish Medical Association High Honor Board Member Ali Cerkezoglu has said with claiming “For 2015, about 2 million pepper spray capsules is planned to be purchased.” And he added:
“We are engaging in work a shame for a country such as keeping the annual statistics of pepper spray, reporting which deadly chemical weapons are used over how many people. With this reporting, we revealed once again pepper spray is a weapon as deadly and how blatantly used to the blind eyes and deaf ears. As you can see in the report, we do not have a city and people exempt from pepper spray.”

Because of the use of gas last year, 8 people have died, at least 453 people were injured.

Using pepper spray by months.
January: Police forces used gas for 12 days. 3 People were injured. One of the place which gas was used was children’s ward in Sincan children prison.
February: 14 cities in 18 days gas was used. 6 month old baby was exposed to dense gas on a street in Taksim. A person in Batman, has lost one eye result of the hit gas flares.
March: 24 cities in 19 days, gas was used. The 13 days was used in Istanbul. 16 years old boy lost two fingers. According to data, only in Istanbul 1 million 272 thousand people had been exposed to pepper spray. 70 years old person lost his life.
April: Gas was used in 9 cities during 20 days .
May: Gas was used in 17 cities in during 20 days.
June: Gas was used in 18 cities in during 20 days.
July-August: Gas was used in 10 cities during 32 days. 78 injured, 3 people lost his eye.
September: Gas was used in 11 cities in 27 days. 183 people were injured. Wounded 9 years old girl was taken to the hospital.
October: Gas was used in 24 cities in 24 days. 12 years old boy was injured of his head by gas flares. Total number of wounded due to pepper spray is 18.
November: Gas was used in 12 cities in 17 days.
December: Gas was used in 5 public demonstrations and walks, in 13 cities in 15 days.

During the occupy Gezi park in Taksim, protesters had written hundreds humorous writing on the walls as answer against the police violence and using chemical gases. Here is the one of them.

transtation in English:

“Mister, you didn’t need to use pepper spray for our cry; already, we are emotional kids enough.”

The quotes of news from:

http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/209013/365_gunun_224_gunu_biber_gazi_soluduk.html