GuNAY HILAL – Gezi spirit returns with May 31 anniversary

Gezi spirit returns with May 31 anniversary May 31 marks the first anniversary of last summer’s Gezi Park protests, with protesters preparing for mass demonstrations and the Istanbul Police Department having organized an unprecedented level of police deployment around Taksim Square and Gezi Park. According to reports, some 25,000 police officers and 50 water cannon trucks (TOMA) are to be deployed on May 31 in the Taksim, IiIli and BeIiktaI neighborhoods of Istanbul to prevent gatherings.

The Gezi Park protests were a milestone in Turkey’s democratic history in terms of freedom of speech, with massive numbers attending a peaceful protest movement. The Gezi Park protests kicked off on May 27, in reaction to a government plan to replace Istanbul’s central park by rebuilding a replica of an Ottoman-era military barracks.

What started with only a group of people protecting trees from being uprooted in the park spiraled into a nationwide movement against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoIan’s government after a brutal police crackdown on peaceful protesters on May 31, 2013. Police violence against demonstrators resulted in the deaths of seven people.

In a Friday piece titled “Do not ruin the Gezi spirit,” Milliyet daily columnist Mehmet Tezkan wrote that the Gezi Park protests are still being discussed, though it has been one year since they began. Tezkan states that the government and its supporters are well aware of what Gezi was about, but they are trying to divert attention from the real issues by saying, “It was a coup attempt using the excuse of the removal of 12 trees.

” Government officials are now trying to make the public forget their earlier announcement of the plan to build a shopping mall, hotel or residence with the appearance of a replica of an Ottoman-era military barracks, Tezkan wrote. “I agree with the government on one point the real issue was not the ‘trees’ or the plans for a shopping mall to replace Gezi Park.

The real issue that sparked the Gezi movement was the brutal police attack on young people who were on night watch in order to prevent the felling of trees. It was an uprising against the government’s patronizing attitude.

It was a way of screaming, ‘Enough is enough’ to the government, which is trying to oppress the people in every aspect of life and create a model for society,” Tezkan commented. The columnist also pointed out the fact that Gezi was a rare unorganized protest movement in world history.

“What we call the ‘Gezi spirit’ has emerged. The ‘Gezi spirit’ is now the name of hundreds of thousands of people who do not even know each other and were not led by anyone, gathering in the same public square.

It is the spirit of solidarity, love, respect, humor, intelligence, youth, freedom and saying, ‘Do not interfere with my life,’” Tezkan said. The columnist also warned that on the Saturday anniversary of the Gezi protests, no rights group or nongovernmental organization should claim rights to Gezi or abuse the Gezi spirit.

“The Gezi protests belong to nobody,” Tezkan said. Can Dundar, a columnist with the Cumhuriyet daily, also wrote about the Gezi anniversary on May 31.

Dundar wrote that last year’s Gezi protests were an inspiration to him, giving him hope for the future of the country. Dundar noted that the police had attacked peaceful protesters as though they were attacking an enemy.

“Policemen thought they could scare demonstrators away by shooting and beating them to death, but they were dead wrong. They sparked the greatest uprising in Turkish history with their kicks and punches.

They caused a meek society to stand up,” Dundar commented.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman

Related Post
HONG KONG, Aug. 21, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — If you’re planning to spend memorable holidays in
دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة، 20 أغسطس 2017/PRNewswire/ — النوافذ والأبواب والواجهات، 25 – 27 سبتمبر
In July, the Latvian airline airBaltic carried 393,312 passengers, up 21 per cent more than
\