Turkey: Erdoğan Swears to “Eradicate Twitter”

By: Friday March 21, 2014 4:12 pm

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to “eradicate Twitter and their kind and end this breach of privacy and defamation” just hours before Twitter was banned in Turkey. An urgent court decision has been passed within the framework of several laws, one of which is an anti-terror law. The Telecommunications Institute has announced that the ban is directed against defamation, violation of privacy, and misinformation.


Turkey: Police No Longer Make Excuses for Brutality

By: Monday August 5, 2013 12:10 pm

Police violence has become widespread in Turkey. On the night of Saturday August 3rd there was a call on Twitter with the #MilyonlarTaksime (Millions to Taksim) hashtag to protest the closing of Gezi Park again in Taksim. As can be understood from the “Millions,” this was simply a case of “trolling” aimed at manipulating the Governor of Istanbul and police to take unnecessary precautions out of fear that that many people might actually show up.

Facebook Squashes Online Dissent of Turkish Opposition

By: Thursday August 1, 2013 2:00 pm

Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim had announced some weeks ago that Twitter did not respond positively to a “cooperation” agreement to determine and spot those who get involved in “criminal activities” by expressing their views online. This statement’s rhetoric would make any reader feel that Facebook is cooperating with the Turkish government, and it was Twitter that was declared a menace to society by Prime Minister Erdogan.

Turkey: More Police Violence; Attacks on Academics and Professionals

By: Wednesday July 10, 2013 2:00 pm

It was the day of the grand opening, after a day of postponement by the government due to Saturday night’s police intervention in Gezi Park. The Governor, Mayor and many other AKP officials were present at Gezi Park alongside over 200 journalists asking questions. The police did not allow too many civilians in the park during the opening ceremony. As the Mayor called for an end to all kinds of protests and blamed the peaceful protesters for provoking police to turn violent, someone in the crowd asked “Will we be allowed to kiss in the park, I would love to show my affection to my wife with a simple kiss” to which the governor replied “If society allows it…”

Turkey: Gezi Gains, Yet Justice Loses in General

By: Saturday July 6, 2013 12:45 pm

Justice apparently is not such a strange notion to Turkish protesters as one would expect. It seldom gives a decision that respects international law and basic human rights. Most recently the Istanbul court has ruled that the objection to stopping the court ruling to cancel demolishing of Gezi Park is unlawful and that the park should be preserved as green space; this decision would set an example for all green spaces that are currently under occupation by construction companies and security forces who try to keep civilian protesters away from green spaces. Although this declaration might seem hopeful, and appear to be a final decision regarding all events surrounding Gezi, it actually is a ruling that is still open-ended. There might yet be a final opposition to the court ruling and even a change of the law to invalidate the court decision.

Turkey: Justice Remains a Long-Lost Dream

By: Friday June 28, 2013 11:02 am

Justice remains a long-lost dream for civilian people in Turkey. As rapists and murderers connected to government are protected, those who complain of injustice experience dawn raids on their homes, detention, torture, and arbitrary violence by the police.

“Tools of Freedom”: EU Parliament Conference on Events in Turkey

By: Friday June 21, 2013 2:20 pm

The first overall message to be understood was that the protests were seen as a positive outcome of a process of transition and democratization that has been going on in Turkey for a long time now. The protests and the ability to make use of liberties and freedoms and the general outcry against any limits on those rights and liberties are generally perceived as a positive aspect of the protests, which remained peaceful and civil until police intervention disturbed the scene. In general, it is indeed promising to see civil society in general demanding that the Europeanization process continue and calling for deep reforms of the state system, as opposed to the top-down reform policies one could see in Turkish politics until recently.

Turkey: As AKP Aims to Silence International Media, Police Continue to Storm Taksim; Uprising Spreads

By: Sunday June 16, 2013 7:00 am

Starting with the informatory talks between the government and the council of Taksim Solidarity (to save Gezi Park), the tense situation in Turkey had cooled down for a short period of time. Before the meeting took place, an AKP adviser declared that they would want to invite several people from TS but they cannot be Sunni Muslim or support a rightist ideology. Two witnesses had confirmed that Erdogan had yelled and shouted at TS members during the meeting and did not care to listen to their demands. The demands were clear, Gezi would be saved from destruction, all those detained across the country for supporting Gezi would be released without further investigation and there would be no attacks on peaceful protesters.

Turkey: Resistance Park

By: Friday June 14, 2013 8:00 am

As one walks from Harbiye towards Taksim, the crowds get thicker and thicker. When strolling the streets, from the sides you see people in groups of dozens with their gasmasks, goggles, helmets, and different flags in many colors. In the middle of this colorful opposition there are dozens of thinner-addicts that all shout the same thing: “Don’t go to Taksim, you will get gassed! You are going to your certain death! Stay away from Gezi, stay home be safe!”

Turkey: Regime Ignores International Community’s Outrage

By: Wednesday June 12, 2013 7:35 am

Here is a nightly report on the events in Turkey for 12-6-13:

Another day and night of excessive police force, tons of gas of many types, TOMAs, panzers and thousands of batons mark a historic and unforgettably dark day in history for Taksim and for Turkey. Although Governor Mutlu had declared that there would be no intervention and that the lives of those in and around Gezi Park are under the police’s responsibility and will be safeguarded, there came a wave of attacks and raids against the protesters. While the peaceful protests were continuing, the Governor stated that the square needed cleaning and sent out expedition teams for yet another dawn operation. As day broke, all TV channels broadcasted live how “a few protesters were throwing Molotov cocktails at police while barricades were being lifted.” However, the people throwing Molotovs were in fact undercover policemen, which was proven later by their guns and transmitters.

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