If I’ve been quiet lately it’s largely due to the fact that I’ve reduced my involvement somewhat, on the grounds that folks are being arrested in greater and greater numbers. In fact, this week the police force was issued new orders that on the surface seem like the tiniest of inches towards better behavior- warn people before shooting gas at them!- but when you read to the end, that bit about how arrest and detention is the new form of crowd control, THAT scares the bejeesus out of me.
Also, others are writing about this far better and with far more authority.
Anyone who is interested in the state of things now MUST read these three articles, all of which are just superb.
Seriously. Do it now.
1. Notes on the Turkish Troubles by Clare Berlinski (also follow her on twitter. She’s amazeballs. Don’t actually know when she has time to write.)
2. The Gezi Diaries by the same lady. (note: not her title.)
3. Erdoğan Organizing the Mother Of All Witch Hunts by Atilla Yesilada
You will learn a lot.
Z and I were having a conversation last night about the upcoming protest in Yoğurtcı Park, and speculating about the amount of gas the night promised. In Kadiköy, right in front of that big old ugly balloon, a new TOMA truck sat, apparently waiting for the protest to begin.
“But the thing,” I said, “that’s been on my mind is that the police aren’t really the bad guys here. I mean, they aren’t the good guys either, but the real baddies are the people out there issuing the orders. Erdoğan himself said that he’s sending them out for 48 hours at a time without sleep or food. Jesus. He’s turning them into animals.”
“The honorable thing to do would be to resign,” he observed.
“I’ve read that many did, after June 1. Which actually makes it worse cause the good guys are gone. And the guys that are left? Undereducated, working in conditions of unutterable stress, sleep deprived, hungry, and the worse they behave the more they’re told good job, keep it up, they’re fighting a righteous war against terrorism.”
“And they got huge bonuses, all of them.”
Quite a lot of the danger doesn’t come from the police, though. Last night there was violence in Yoğurtcı Park. I am still trying to tease out the thread of the story, but apparently a gang of young football hooligans, calling themselves Young Fenerbahçe fans, attacked, beat, and stabbed some protesters. All heresay, but I’ve got it on authority (Z’s) that this wasn’t politically motivated, but racially.
I will update more as I hear, if anyone has any good clear info please send it.
And stay safe out there, kids.