Gezi defence: Why was I there?

I hear certain people singing to me, “You are dead for me now”, while some others sing to me “You rose up to my heart like sunshine”… Some request my books enthusiastically, saying “write and send it to me” and some spill out their hatred in a “burn all the memories” fashion.

But, what business did I have in the same place as the enemies of religion, people with a pro-coup mindset and certain foreign forces (3ds)?

How come I stood side by side with “enemies of religion”, kept my silence and seemed content when they drank alcohol in a mosque, assaulted and urinated on women with headscarves?

How could I take part in a place where nationalists, “Ergenekon”ists and CHP supporters got all together to mastermind a coup d’état?

What was I doing in a place where the interest lobby and foreign forces from Koç to Boyner, from CNN to German and English forces were roaming around?

The answer is simple: I didn’t and still don’t believe any of these.

Those who rose to the bait of The Powerful One and fell for these claims may see us in a very different direction from where they look. But it seems to me normal as I don’t believe any of these lies

We do not share the same idea with the government and its associates. I believe that he is telling splendid lies in a “Tell even if it is a lie, I like it anyway” fashion.

I don’t buy these lies, because The Powerful One -who won an award for bravery, who became the co-president of the Greater Middle East Initiative and who opens the Stock Market of Istanbul with basmala- has been serving the interest lobby himself for 10.5 years and lost all his credibility in my eye.

“Money has no religion or faith”… “Interest is a reality of the World”… We are going to turn Istanbul into a finance center”

Like in the popular saying: “Tell it to the marines

Actions speak louder than words


If the US and Israel are behind these events, well then, abolish one single agreement with Israel or have Israel remove at least two of the missile shields for warning, rather than taking poor young guys into custody. If it is one of those foreign forces who stand behind these events, well then take someone from the KOÇ family into custody!

Well, he can’t… he won’t… What does he do? He preaches at the Turkish Olympics, which is sponsored officially and explicitly by KOÇ. The interest lobby was not in Gezi Park, but at the Turkish Olympics. Just check out the sponsors: Koc, Dogus, Agaoglu, Asyabank, Ulker, Turkcell, Vestel…

If even my 70-year-old mom can become convinced after 20days that the Powerful One is telling lies, you, also, will eventually get used to it, will quietly see that those were all spectacular lies, but will never be able to say explicitly that “you did fall for the lies”.

There were three big lies, two of which were pretty awesome:

They drank alcohol inside the mosque: Alcohol-inside-the-mosque video was going to be broadcasted last Friday, two Fridays have passed and now a third Friday is coming, but there is still no video in sight and will never be, because it is a lie.

They burned the flag: It turned out to be a footage taken at a demonstration in 2010. It was broadcasted on TRT, the first video has no date but the second video was broadcasted with the date 31.05.2013, which obviously was added to the footage later. It was straight up flagrancy.

They assaulted women wearing headscarves: No such incident happened in Gezi Park. We were there with women wearing headscarves for 20 days and nothing happened. The testimonies of those women who allegedly got attacked are doubtful. It is claimed that about 100 perpetrators attacked these women, but there is not even one official report, plea, or custody. There are neither pictures, nor videos taken even simply by a cell phone. There is not even one single suspect. There are only the statements of the woman whom we see with their backs turned to the screen.

How can we believe all these?

Things like evidence, testimonials, documents, witnesses exist in real life. The jactitation of the Powerful One has no legitimacy in terms of law and justice. You will only buy these lies, if you are not capable of walking away from the herd, if you have an axe to grind from the Powerful One and if you base all your desires (your future expectations, career, benefits, unearned income, interests, and salary) on his existence.

All these lies, however, were nothing but a PR study of the Powerful One. They were all lies made up in order to prevent the religious people from being carried away by the rebellion. It was kind of like a CIA-patented propaganda which resembles Demirel-like anti-communist propagandas of the 1970s. And yes, it succeeded today, too, just like it did in the 1970s. Millions of people today fell for these lies just like others did in the 1970s.

Yes millions of people… Millions of people believe that Eyyup el-Ensari, who is among the companions of Prophet Muhammad, has been resting in the mausoleum at Eyüp Sultan Mosque for 560 years, and those millions rush to go there. Well, there is no companion of prophet Muhammad’s there. There has never been. Specialists in that field know this very well, but can never say. Politics, parties, community, organization, corporate religion, temple mentality keep quiet in that issue, because they have to. Otherwise, it means they dig will their own graves. Only the virtue of the reality can speak in such places.

If such events as drinking inside the mosque, flag burning, assaulting women with headscarves had happened there (at Gezi park), we would have been the first ones to react to it and it would happen right at Gezi Park. Likewise, on the Ascension Night, burning the flags of the US and Israel was prevented, since that kind of “Action” is pretty old and not peaceful at all. No, no country flag should be burned anymore. As a matter of fact, many women wearing head scarves walked from Dolmabahçe to Taksim just to express their disturbance on the news of this headscarf assault. In fact, the “Chapullers”, all of them, were very disturbed by this news.

Now let me specify the reasons why I was there…

1- I was there every time governments came heavily down on people. Those who got slapped by the government on February 28th were in front of IHT High Schools and in conviction rooms. I was there, too. I tried to stand in front of that slap, and joined numerous demonstrations, shouting “Don’t hit them, leave the kids alone, and keep your hands off them”. I took part in demonstrations in person; I got sued in 30 different lawsuits. I never regretted any of them. I would be at the same place again without a second thought if it happened again, do not doubt that.

2- Every cloud has a silver lining. One day came and I saw that those people who had suffered from the government’s heavy stick were also at Gezi Park. But that stick was in the hand of “our side” this time and it turned out that those who were getting beaten with that heavy stick included those who were the ones to hit us on February 28th. What would I do? Was I again going to say “Don’t hit them, leave the kids alone, and keep your hands off them!” or would I say “Now the time has changed. Now the situation is different. Our party is at the top the management of this country, we had already suffered enough from that opposite side”? If I had said that, I would have contradicted with myself, and if I had decided the other way, I would have found myself in a conflict with my own acquaintances and my friends of 30 years. And I picked the disaster… No matter what, I stood by a “principle”. That principle was the principle that “The sufferer’s identity does not matter”. The statement that “They are not sufferers but marauders” was just like the one we had heard on February 28th: “They are not sufferers, but reactionaries and retrogressives”. Most of the 30 lawsuits from that period went by with us defending that those who waited in front of IHL and those with headscarves taken to conviction rooms were not reactionaries or “bats”, but sufferers. I had to make a decision in this dilemma and I voted for the disaster, Seyda.

3- To many of you, it seemed as if I stood by coup supporters, enemies of religion and foreign forces. On February 28th, that so-called foreign force was Iran. Allegedly, we had gotten paid by Iran and we got arrested for starting a reactionary initiative. This time, we are allegedly supporting a pro-coup Kemalist initiative. Iran, the so-called reactionary initiative and the “bats” of those days all vanished as the clouds over February 28th disappeared, but the “principle” that I live by remains intact. All labels, allegations, provocations, humiliations, judgments will fly away and again only that “principle” will remain. Abiding by this principle is an indicator of a person’s loyalty to himself, to his past and to his cause. It shows that a person will not change even when the times change and you switched from being at the bottom to being at top, or in other words, from being the sufferer to becoming the torturer. Such pure and unconditional life stances are necessary in order not to get spoiled by what we have obtained and not to be sorry for what we have lost. And, I tell you my dear Hadji brother, I really do not care if the current political arena does not tolerate such purity and unconditionality.

4- Albeit, we have been an instrument to the desires of foreign forces, enemies of religion and coup supporters -which I totally do not believe- our stance should still be respected for the sake of that “principle”. Don’t you think one should say that “They believed in a principle but could not clearly see what was going on. They stepped into the fire for the sake of that principle, so they deserve to receive respect for that no matter what”. Won’t you even say this much, dear and esteemed Muslim community?

5- Even if there was no one at Gezi Park, I would still be there. I would hold the stick of the government by myself and say “Don’t”. I would be there, even if those who had hit us in the past were also at Gezi. I would still be there, even if there had been people among the Gezi crowd who would have done the same brutality to us if they had the power. This is like going to the place where your conscience leads you towards. This is not something that those who are motivated by values imposed by politics, parties, sects, organization etc. would understand. That is why, Seydas, do not be so hard on yourselves, just act on your conscience, everyone needs conscience…

6- A community emerges in Turkey, acquires the ruling power, creates its own class, alienates the other community, then the other community gets power and the same cycle occurs repeatedly. This cycle had to end at some point.  The separation was supposed to turn into a separation between state (torturer) and public (sufferer) instead of faithful ones vs. faithless ones, contemporary vs. conventionalist, Turkish vs. Kurdish, Alevi vs. Sunni. When the government tortures its own people, you must stand in solidarity with the sufferer (a.k.a. the tortured ones) regardless of whether he or she is faithless, modern, Kurdish, Alevi, socialist etc. And you must stand against the government that uses violence (torturer), regardless of whether it shares the same religion and community with you. This had to be done specifically by those who were in the same community with the government. This is why, we read the Quran and practiced our prayers on the Ascension Night at Gezi Park; we practiced Friday prayers twice and established a prayer room at the park. We joined the protests actively. Because as far as Islam is concerned, if it is a justice vs cruelty issue, being –or not being- a Muslim does not matter at all. It is also a religious duty to take a stand against the cruelty of a Muslim, too, my friends…

7- Even though people continue to vote for the government party, they may have a dispute with the government in some issues, they may disagree with them and continue to vote for that party again at the next elections. It is normal that those who practice the prayer ritual disagree with another one who also practices the same ritual. In the same way, a woman with headscarf may have a dispute with another woman who also wears the headscarf. In short, it is not necessary to stand with the government on any and every issue. Similarly, it would not be right to stand against every single application of the government and oppose everything they do, just because they are the government. I don’t remember objecting the government when it built roads, improved the hospitals, advanced the well-being of the poor just because these were all performed by the government. But for God’s sake, can a pro-AKP person not say that he disagrees with the party he voted when it comes to talking about the park and cutting trees? When he disagrees, why is it that he must have necessarily fallen for the tricks of foreign forces, be the instrument of coup supporters, and play into the hands of the enemies of religion. I ask you my honorable friends…

8- How much the excuse “Everything was fine at the beginning, but then the route of the event has changed, international conspiracy has come into play, the main purpose is different, they going to overthrow the government” is similar with the excuse “my grandma was also wearing a headscarf, but this time the intention is different, they are hiding their real purposes, they are going to demolish the republic”. See how the government takes the ideas it has adopted and takes credit for it. See and hold it up as an example, the religion warriors…

9- The mentality behind February 28th was exactly this. When I criticized the official ceremonies; they said that my intention was something different and I got sued for attempting to demolish the republic. I said not to cutting trees. Now this time they are saying that I have cooperated with enemies of religion, coup supporters and foreign forces. Again, they say that my main intention is different. So, at that point, people who came from a similar background as the government had to join the Gezi protests in order to show that traditional government mentality never changes. The basic behavior of the state has never changed at all. This needed to be expressed to everybody, my dear friends, whose knees are bruised by the “Signs on the Road”…

10- And finally, a Gezi spirit emerged and that was the Turkey of the future… This spirit would not be complete without Friday rituals, prayers, Quran and praying rooms. Otherwise, it would have been incomplete. The respect of the people at Gezi towards religion at least turned into an interest in the religion. So remember that our presence there has helped in that manner too, my dear statement giver brothers…

I listed my reasons why I joined the Gezi protests in order to explain and answer those who like us, who read our articles, who follow us and who cannot make sense out of our current approach. This is the case. God knows that our intentions and our purpose were nothing different than these reasons.

Sorry for all slips of tongue…

Also please read these articles and news. These can be seen as a continuation of the article above.

Response to the slanders:

Defence with justifications (interviews):

Response to the  false photographs on social media:

İhsan Eliaçık
30 June 2013

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