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: Citizen Journalism Under Attack; Facebook Collaborates

By: Sunday July 7, 2013 7:00 am

The Bar Association in Izmir organized a press conference stating that the Twitter arrests in the aftermath of the Gezi protests were based on illegally gathered information and no court decision. The police had staged a pre-emptive arrest of the authors of digital content in the absence of a direct order to even investigate the situation, finding evidence of any obvious criminal act, or a judge’s order to carry out these arrests.

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: Kurds’ Turn to Protest Government Violence

By: Sunday June 30, 2013 8:15 am

The problem currently facing Turkey that has been the most harmful and has the longest background has been the conflicts with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party). A major attempt at a solution had been the “Peace Process” that gave hope to millions across the country. Although the government had taken steps in negotiating a peace process with PKK, mobilizing the wise people across the country and promising peace for future, in the meantime more police “fortresses,” under the name of border outposts (far away from any borderline) have been constructed.

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.

Under the Spreading Chestnut Tree: Turkish Protesters’ Park-Forums

By: Sunday June 23, 2013 12:30 pm

Turkish protesters, having discovered the power of their words, have been gathering in parks across the country to talk about their problems, possible solutions and methods to achieve them, and how they will react to injustice and unfairness. They have reached a unanimous agreement that all will be handled non-violently, through peaceful means. The park forums have been generating millions of ideas, all topics that were considered to be taboos of society now come out to moon-light every evening, and bringing them to people’s agenda gives hope for the future of Turkish resistance.

Gezi Park: Civilian Occupation Ends, Police Occupation Begins

By: Saturday June 22, 2013 7:53 am

After a few days of non-reporting, here is a short summary and an update on the events going on in Turkey around the Gezi Movement.

After last week’s “final raid” by the police on Gezi Park, the park occupation by civilians has ended and the police occupation of the park has begun. This incident has been reported in almost all the mainstream print and visual media as “liberation of the park” with additional comments stating “now the park is the people’s, and everyone can enjoy it freely!” Except for the “liberation” of the park, there has been one other piece of “good news”: the terror instrument of German pianist Davide Martello – a piano – has been released from police confiscation – ironically reminding everyone of Nazi attacks against Polish violinists during WW2.

“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.

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