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Re: <nettime> #occupyGezi
Orsan Senalp on Wed, 5 Jun 2013 16:56:09 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> #occupyGezi

dear Felix, this is Orsan, based in the Netherlands but I have been
following Turkey closely since I moved here in 2004. At that time I
was working for the DISK, progressive union confederation. I was also
working for a PM at the parliament as an adviser. Erdogan government
kicked off its full fledged neoliberal offensive towards social and
labour rights and nature, but also at the same time towards the 'state
class' (traditional secular elite in turkey fusion of large capital
groups and military, bureaucratic cadre) just before I left. After
that, I have been intensely following and writing about the country,
AKP rule within the global political economy context. So I know the
organÄsed elements on the ground, context and have also been followÄng
the OccupyGezÄ uprising from the beginning. So I could try to briefly
inform you and others:

As you know the 'unrest' sparked from the Gezi Park which is located
net to the Taksim Square. Where big clashes took place last month
between police and the people Ät was about the May 1 mobilisation. The
meetings organised by Gezi ParkÄ resistance platform which is mainly
resisting the commodification of the City and public spaces..They
started to gather at the Park on the 28 and 29. The engagement with
police on the 30st and the brutal attacks came from police on the 31st
however sparked the massive nation wide uprising against the
government. Social media has been used by actÄvÄsts and cÄtÄzens
exactly like it was used in Tunis, Egypt, Spain, 15O and US, Peaceful
protest meeting met  with brutal oppression by police, pictures and
info coming out on that second generated anger and it spread with
light speed. There were reports from uprising and clashes at around 70
cities Än 3rd day of the protests, Millions of people went out to the
streets, parks and squares, most of the time peacefully in almost each
case polÄce attacked severely by using strong gasses and chemicals.
There were speculations of course but feelings anger and message
spread very fast.

The main stream Media, almost 30 privately owned TV channels as well
as many radio stations didn't put anything on air about what was
happening on the street and central squares across the country Än many
large cities including largest ones: Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Adana,
Eskisehir. Since 2 days ago this was the case and,almost 5 days long
total black out was adding more people to the revolt. The aggressive
and macho reaction of the head of the government towards masses and
media's total silence, only grew the anger and participation. Many non
party, non organised people followed the events via social media, live
streaming, twitter, facebook and went out to the streets. Same as in
other cases like Wall Street occupation but here participation went
massive in very short time, without mainstream media coverage. Being
under attack and huge protests
now media is apologising now and started to show some moderate and
very limited most of the time manipulated news from the ground. The
uprising and message went beyond the Park in the first day, democracy
become the central issue, people everywhere calls Erdogan to resign,
solidarity actions and groups spread across the world, it is feeding
in other countries as it happened before with the precious uprisings.

At the moment protests and gatherings continue and no one knows where
is this headed, the momentum is lower today thogh in comparison to
yesterday on the twÄtter and Facebook, but also on the streets for the
moment. Ät might be after the apologies came from deputy prime
minister but also president Gul's softer approach. The day before and
yesterday we had also general strÄkes by two large confederatÄons,
taking place. So today started as a working day It might get Änore
intense towards the evening  again. There were also arrests related to
tweets sent, and other issues are coming up like the deregulatÄon of
the status of the national Parks so they could open them to markets.

BrÄef background for the Turkish context:
AKP was very successful in braking the rule of traditional elite
structure and capturing the State during its first 2 terms. As one of
the AKP ministers said internal and external conditions were
overlapping, in favour of AKP. Like the post 9/11 US policy, crisis in
the EU, rising of the BRICS etc. By massive privatisations,
reforms/deregulation in health, education, social security as well as
labour market they could attract massive foreign investments; large
portion of the oil profits from the Gulf flew in some says even in
cash carried by large planes.

Massive infrastructure and City Transformation projects have been
launched and tenders given to emerging new 'green' Anatolian
capital,.Middle and small sized entrepreneurs transformed and
interlocked to these internationalising capital groups. Most
importantly traditionally ruling Military cadre jailed and  the rest
got under control. Secret service and other state apparatus as well,
like juridical system, totally captured by the government, but also
its ally international Gulen Cult, whose leader Fetullah Gulen is
living in the US. And the Cult especially strong in and control the
police forces, President Gul is the man of Gulen.

This was also meant commodÄfÄcatÄon of rivers, lakes, forests,
beaches, parks and trees that are potentially providing large rants to
be transferred to emerging new Islamic elite. Among many other
platforms formed last years Gezi Park Resistance platform, alliance of
organisations, left parties and groups were active against the
expansion of neoliberalism,

I will try to write more, this is it for the moment., hope that it was useful.


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