#Gezi Park Documentary Screening

By: Saturday December 7, 2013 3:46 pm

Six months after the protests began, Turkish film maker @GeziDoc is premiering episode 2 in his series on the uprisings that began in a tiny park in Istanbul and went on to inspire the world.  The film contains both familiar and rare/never before seen footage shot from on the ground in and around Gezi and Taksim Square in late May and early June 2013. 

Happy Thursday: Thanksgivukkah Prep

By: Thursday November 28, 2013 3:15 pm

I truly disliked Thanksgiving as a kid–all the agony of Christmas but without the presents. Now that I’m grown up it’s a bit different, though I still am baffled by the power this holiday has over people. My perfect Thanksgiving would be watching two of the greatest movies ever about importance of family, The Godfather I and II. Back to back.

However, many of my friends share a different sentiment.

Turkey: No More European Dreams?

By: Friday September 27, 2013 7:38 am

Over the years, Euroskepticism has been the prevailing point of view in general Turkish society, going hand in hand with rising nationalism in the country. While a big part of the supporters of the governing AKP have been against EU accession, the negotiation process has started and has been continuing very slowly without chapters being opened or completed. In previous years, Turkish business people have been uttering their lack of belief that Turkey would ever manage to complete negotiations.

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: 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.

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