Caught Between Police & Protesters in Turkey
The Turkish people do not enjoy being lied to, and the Turkish government does not enjoy listening to their people. Many things led up to the protests in Turkey that are happening now. It is being covered by media world wide. They wouldn’t have happened without the protest on May first 2013. They were taught that day that their peaceful protest were not going to be heard by the government, and that their wellbeing was not in the best interest of the police. After being there, and talking to many people, a few things became clear.
On Labor Day, May first, 1977 a massacre occurred in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Thirty six left-wing demonstrators were shot and killed by gunman who are widely thought to be right-wing. The holiday has had a tense undertone ever since, and has become a day of remembrance and protest. During the past few years many have gathered in Taksim Square for peaceful demonstrations on the anniversary of the shooting. This year the government issued a statement that Taksim would be closed that day due to constructions. This infuriated the people. It was open the day before, and the day after, but just happened to not be safe that one day? No one bought it. Turks are passionate, and were infuriated at being lied to. Instead of the normal relatively quiet response to the first of May, thousands of people wanted to be in attendance. It was the act of a strong armed parent over disobedient children. The people were put in timeout without being heard, and lied to about the reason.
Police shot over 2,000 tear gas bombs into nonviolent groups of people, many of which were not there for protest reasons. The cops were attempting to break up groups heading to the square. We were caught up in it. For six hours we dodged police, tear gas bombs, fire hoses and people running. We ran up and down steep narrow streets. By the time we stopped, blisters covered the soles of my feet.
The local news did a piece on my talking about this day NEWS CLIP
Our Local friends did an amazing job keeping us out of harm’s way. We called them the “tear gas whisperers,” because they kept us out of direct danger at the last minute, multiple times.
Wholeness through feeling the pain of others in a cloud of teargas.
Love, “Whole Hannah” – inner i art