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<nettime> #occuppyGezi Fwd: The Eleventh Day
Andreas Treske on Sat, 8 Jun 2013 13:17:51 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> #occuppyGezi Fwd: The Eleventh Day


Message from David Barchard summarizing yesterday ...


Begin forwarded message:

> From: David Barchard <dbarchard {AT} gmail.com>
> Subject: The Eleventh Day
> Date: June 7, 2013 10:11:19 PM GMT+03:00
> To: undisclosed-recipients:;
> Bcc: treske {AT} gmail.com
> 
> 
> Day 11 of the Gezi Park Demonstrations passed peacefully in Istanbul with few signs that moves to disperse are imminent.
> 
> A British blogger in Istanbul writes a little ecstatically:
> 
> âI have never seen anywhere radiate so much bonhomie and fellow feeling. On the (policed) streets of every city in the world, theft and harassment exist in varying degrees. In Taksim Square and Gezi Park, there is none. Everyone is in a wonderful mood, having the time of their lives, sharing everything from books to fried meatballs to musical instruments, and the longer they remain there, the more they will resent being made to give it up.
> 
>  â It sounds corny, but this honestly feels like a utopia, mainly because people want it to be. The combined happiness of these people has taken on a hive-like buzz, and has characterised an area which was, until recently, ugly and forbidding with bulldozers and craters. The atmosphere is infectious and uplifting. It is thrilling to walk around a place where people are dressed up in carnival gear and wigs 24/7, for no reason at all except that Taksim has been saved, Tayyip is on the run and it is Party Time.â
> 
>      Harun Tekin, pop musician and environmental campaigner, wrote in what must be the worst tweet of the day in Turkish that the people in Taksim Square were âcheerful as hobbits,  fine as elves, and as brilliant-white as Gandalf.â  There seem to be no limits to the aesthetic damage being done by globalization.     Meanwhile Turkish Greenpeace triumphantly offers demonstrators snacks cooked by solar energy.
> 
>      Meanwhile two Kurdish MPs from the Peace and Democracy Party visited Gezi Park and relayed a message from the imprisoned PKK leader, Abdullah Ãcalan. He warned the crowds that the âErgenekonistsâ (alleged Kemalist secret conspirators against the AKP) should not be allowed to take over the movement. This sounded like definite support for Mr ErdoÄan, who is in the midst of negotiating a settlement with the PKK.  
> 
> 
>       In Ankara much of the Tunus  Caddesi area of KavaklÄdere is also full of protestors and tents are said to be going up in KuÄulu Parkâif there is room. [Photo attached]  Some of the Ankara demonstrators claim that they have taken the lead from Istanbul â but if they have, it has had little impact because the international media have ignored them almost completely. However it seemed that all across Turkey, for the first day for a week, there were no clashes between police and demonstrators in any large city.However the public made its continuing dissatisfaction known at 9 p.m. when households flashed their lights on and off and banged pots and pans in protestâa tradition which stretches back to the 1990s in Turkey but to date seems to have notched up not a single success.
> 
> But everyone knows that the Taksim party must come to an end sooner or later. The governor of Istanbul, HÃseyin Avni Mutlu,    its chief of police, HÃseyin ÃapkÄn, and the cityâs chief prosecutor, Turan ÃolakkadÄ,  held a three hour-long crisis meeting today. Afterwards no statement was made but journalistsâ sources disclosed that there would be âno intervention before Mondayâ.  This was a relief to demonstrators in the Square among whom there was a rumour circulating that a police operation might begin today after the prime ministerâs speech to an international conference ended. The demonstrators countered the chants of the prime ministerâs supports at the airport to be allowed to march on Taksim with their own chantââLet them come to us and we will show them humanity.â
> 
> The police also denied that Turkeyâs premier hacking group, the mysterious âRed Hackâ had broken into their computer system, following a similar assault on the prime ministry computer system a day earlier which apparently caused it to go offline for several hours.
> 
>        Just under a kilometer from Taksim Square, at a conference in the auditorium of the Swissotel,  Enlargement Commissioner Stephen Fule and the Turkish prime minister  engaged in delicate indirect exchanges about the form that the âinterventionâ to restore law and order might take. Mr Fule, who as Commissioner has been a good deal more forthright on press freedom and human rights violations in Turkey than some of his predecessors, denounced the excessive violence of the police last week, noted that there had been a government apology (though this was apparently taken back by the prime minister in his speech on arriving at Ankara airport), but said there must be a âswift and transparent inquiry. â Some of his listeners detected a threat hanging in the air that if the demonstrations were put down violently, this could be the end for Turkeyâs  semi-moribund EU application process.
> 
>         Mr ErdoÄan replied in much quieter tones  than his airport speech twelve hours before, but his message equally uncompromising, though he did indicate that the Taksim shopping mall might not go ahead after all. However he still seems to think that sinister forces, including foreigners and the âinterest rate lobbyâ are the cause of the problem. The demonstrators were on the brink of illegality, he appealed to them to leave. He indicated that he would be prepared for violent clashes if necessary by saying that such clashes had taken place in several EU countries over the years, including Greece and Britain, and that in the OccupyWallStreet riots, twelve people had been killed. This triggered an instant tweet in response from the US Embassy in Ankara pointing out that in fact there had been no such deaths. The prime ministerâs remarks were taken as a criticism of Britain (widely held by  government supporters to be behind the demonstrations) despite the continuing silence from William Hague and the Foreign Office on recent events in Turkey. Mrs Merkel, the German Chancellor however, did speak out today. She called on Turkey to allow normal freedoms to demonstrators.
> 
>         The Stock Market was unexpectedly encouraged by the contents of the prime ministerâs speech and rallied after its sharp falls on Thursday, closing at 3% higher on the day. Nonetheless Turkey could face a summer of economic difficult. Emre Deliveli, Turkeyâs leading economic commentator, warned that the demonstrations have come at a time when the economy was already under pressure. The trouble could not have come at a more awkward time as far as foreign currency earnings from tourism are concerned â and investors in Turkey who thought that they did not have to worry about political instability will now have to price it back into their calculations.
> 
>      Deliveli writes in his column today that âthe next few months will be anything but rosy because political stability, which had been priced into Turkish assets, is not a given anymore. Turks did not rise against a mall; they were simply fed up with the authoritarianism taking the form of alcohol bans, police brutality and the like. And so even if things calm down, I would not be surprised to see similar protests the next time the government tries to enforce its will on the people.â
> 
> 
> 





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