Some dispatches from Turkey

If you aren’t familiar with what is going on in Turkey right now it’s not my job to tell you.  Outside of the generally awful coverage from the media, there are some ‘on the ground’ reports which deserve sharing.  The one below was sent anonymously (and edited for one’s protection but not content) through an anarchist list I’m a part of.  I am including it here for your reading:

“you must have all heard of the events last nights (11 June 2013), was there last nite. wanted to let you know im fine, miraculously not injured… just came to a friend’s house nearby to rest. i was thinking we were gassed and injured a lot last week but last nite was not comparable to anything. we could barely breath out here, tons of people are injured, including my friends. hundreds injured severely, with severe head traumas and cuts. not sure if there are deaths, no death announced officially or non-officially but i am afraid there will be some.

i was there in the morning yesterday. left rite after the first attacks to supply materials (masks, helmets, googles, antigas solutions, etc.). we also destroy files at our office –cops burst into the offices of leftist political organisations so we gotta start destroying or hiding stuff. so people who have been politically active are also running the danger of getting detained or arrested and stand trial under the Law for struggle against terrorism (the Law under which many journalists and students are currently in prison).

the cops and the government assured that they were not going to attack the park yesterday during the day but that has proven to be a big lie. i was there right at the intersection of the park and the square when the cops started attacking around 8:30pm at night. cops fired gas (not just pepper/tear gas but some other chemicals judging by the smell and effects) and noise bombs straight onto us with no warning in advance — onto thousands (including many old people and small kids) gathered in small space where it is not easy to escape or back off. last week, cops were brutal but their tactic was to make people back off. last night, there was no tactic — they came to kill and wipe the park clear with no remorse.

all night long attacks continued. all night long high city and security officers on the TV kept saying they were not attacking the park while we were inside the park being bombarded.

the park hasn’t fallen yet. the side of park adjacent to the square is lost, people back off towards the 5-star hotels area on the other end of the park. the hotels opened their doors and turned their first floors into standing infirmaries for those injured. people take turns to go the front lines surrounding the park or inside the park, to fight, to sit-in and to form human chains to shield and protect those in the back. people are incredibly organized and brave.

the security forces claimed that protesters threw them molotof coctails during the day, which is how they justify last nights attacks. 8-10 people scattered on the square actually threw molotof coctails to cops during the day from short distance, but curiosly none came near the cops. and the cops, who are able to attack thousands at once, again curiously never directly attacked those 8-10. later, amateur videos proved that those 8-10 were in fact undercover cops inciting the fight (the government keeps saying there are ‘provocateurs’ among the protesters to justify the state terror but those provocateurs are their own people)

not sure how much of the brutality make it to international news. i have heard cnn broad-casted attacks live. it has been like hell out here.

right now its quiet. cops backed off (they occupied the AKM building, the big cultural center that had many banners on it until yesterday and turned it into a base). the governor declared that they are going to continue attacking until they have full control over the situation and that they don’t care about or assure the lives of those who are there.

meanwhile, thousands were apparently on the streets in other neighborhoods to protest the happenings. similar situation in other cities, especially in ankara where there have been brutal attacks all night long.

that’s it for now. we’re expecting more brutal attacks today starting in early afternoon. the media announces that the PM is going to meet with people — none of these people are among the protesters or Gezi Park Committee. 80 different groups, organizations, NGOs make part of the Gezi Solidarity Committee and nobody has contacted us and asked to meet. The people that the PM is going to meet are those who haven’t been part of the protests and occupation — random artists, journalists or NGOs. It’s again another move to give the impression to the international media/community that he is being cooperative.”

And here are a few articles from the anarcho-ish world worth reading:

An Excursion Through the Partitions of Taksim Square
 
Fault line of Istanbul – Insurrection notes from Taksim
 
Some notes and reflections on what has so far transpired during #occupygezi as we enter the 6th day
 
…Day 15
 
Riot Police Raid Gezi Gardens and Evict Tree-Sit; People Prepare to Re-Occupy on Friday
 
http://occupiedtaksim.blogspot.com/
 
Sleepless in Istanbul II
 
Everyday I’m Çapuling!: Brief report from Τaksim square
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