June 30, 2013

Istanbul Recap # 1.5

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This picture has become symbolic to the Turkish protests. There's also the standing man, the girl in the red dress, the naked man (yes, he was naked), the people with gas masks and construction helmets, the ones with their hands open begging and asking...you name it.

Just a few days ago I watched a talk show/documentary on television about the recent drama in Istanbul and other Turkish cities. Also, people were talking about it in other countries as well, so it has not only become a Turkish "issue" it has become a global one. Anyhow, the main discussion in that talk show/documentary was whether or not the protesters do the right thing or not. Opinions differ. Some believe no, these protests are ridiculous and need to stop right now. That the protesters need to be punished immediately (mostly with imprisonment), and that things should go back to normal. On the other hand, the other side strongly argues that the protesters are right and that it has nothing to do with ridiculousness. That it is not just a few hundred unemployed people trying to pick a fight or show off but that indeed old, young, highly educated and cultured are actually protesting too and that needs to be listened to and looked at. Plus, when authorities waltz in and shoot at you while you are happily dancing and standing, how would most people react?

Now, let me tell you one thing.
I am with the second group.
Did I protest, too? 
On my own terms.

Don't freak out. Protest can be friendly and can be done in all kinds of ways.
I ignored all stores and shops and restaurants that are indeed working for the side I am not favoring.
I was standing silent for a long time. I faced Atatürk as well.
I showed solidarity while walking home for two full hours at night because the streets were packed and I could not imagine me sitting in a taxi being stuck in traffic, and paying. I video-taped it all.
I showed solidarity by going out and making noise at nine each night.
I supported my friends, my neighbors, the unfamiliar faces I saw each and every day as well as night.

AND, I drank my alcohol even after 10pm. In a restaurant. After the new law was established.


These flowers were to remember the hurt as well as lost people in the past three weeks. Unfortunately, while people tried to enjoy silence and remember everything the police marched in again. And they weren't friendly. This picture was taken very early in the morning.


I listened to people.
I heard their stories.
I learned from them how to build your own gas mask because stores ran out.
I learned from them how to create liquid solutions to heal the skin and eyes from different gases.
I learned how to protect oneself from getting beating and from having your own bones broken.
I learned how to get rid of that nasty blue color they sprayed on you so they'd have it easier to find you the next day and "punish" you after. 
I learned that you cannot trust anyone.
I know people who are scared to go home because they live on the first or second floor of a building close to where everything is (still) happening.
I know people who are scared to leave the apartment.
I know that hotels, restaurants and stores opened their doors to take in the wounded.
I know that those hotels, restaurants and stores have now thousands if not millions of dollars to rebuild their properties.
I also know that certain management in certain stores closed their doors and ignored the wounded.
I also know these stores/companies aren't to blame because really, if management says no because its too overwhelmed with this unknown situation so be it.

I also know that all this needs to stop.
But, I know that we all need to listen to one another.
It is not the unemployed, bored people that went out and protested.
It is the educated, cultured, open-minded people of Turkey who decided to fight back.

They are standing up and saying no to violence, no to unfair treatment, no to torture, no to laws that make no sense, no to abrupt changes without prior notice, no to a narrow-minded vision of what is right or wrong, no to a religious state, and no to unhappiness.

Would you like to have your doctor arrested for helping you out?
I don't think so.

Read also: Recap #1

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Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Wow! How amazing that you got to be apart of it!

Why Girls Are Weird said...

Woah what an incredible part of history for you to be part of.

Come enter my Riffraff Clothing giveaway and win a $30 credit for pretty clothes!

Meghan said...

I think it's awesome that you've found your own way to share your thoughts and beliefs. Keep fighting the good fight!

Unknown said...

I love that you wrote this. I'm so behind, what is the law they created where you shouldn't have been drinking out after 10 p.m.? Did they enforce a curfew?


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