The woman who was attacked by some machete weilding people in Taksim before the very eyes of the police told her story to SOL.
The individuals who attacked people in Taksim in front of the police became the main agenda of Turkey today. People took pictures of the attacks and shared them instantly on social media. In one of the images, a young woman trying to run away from gas bombs towards Talimhane was cornered by the aggressors who attacked her with machetes and kicked her. That young woman told SOL what she went through.
“They were attacking with machetes and swearing” At about 19:30 when she saw a TOMA (armed riot control vehicle) driving fast towards people standing at the entrance of Gezi Park, firing gas bombs and pressurized water, the young woman ran away towards Talimhane and turned into a street lined with hotels. While she was trying to find a safer place to protect herself from the intensive gas she noticed a group of people with machetes and sticks in their hands coming from the other end of the street. The aggressors were shouting, “Fuck off,” and using insulting language:
“The pepper gas intensified and we were caught in the middle of the street. I don’t remember very well and I didn’t see who it was, but someone shouted, ‘Do not take shelter in that café!’ I didn’t have anything with me for protection such as a gas mask or hard hat. The left hand side was totally covered in pepper gas clouds. I had difficulties breathing and covered my mouth with my hand and ran towards Talimhane.”
“Because of the gas smoke and because my eyes were burning I couldn’t see anything. After running for a while, I noticed a group of people coming towards me. They were swearing and threatening me. I felt intimidated and decided to turn right and look for a safe place to hide. As I reached the corner of the street, one of those men hit my back with his machete. The pain took my breath away but I wasn’t scared. I said, “Hey, what do you think you are doing?” He came at me and kicked my back, swearing at me.”
The young woman managed to get free from the aggressor with the help of some people standing in front of a building. “The apartment was full of people and they filmed the bruises on my back.”
Her family watched the incident on live The young woman added that her family watched the incident live on the Halk TV. She recounted how her family learned what happened to her:
“At that moment my parents and my sister were watching the Halk TV channel. They knew that I was in Taksim and they were worried. My mother saw the images showing the man with machete assaulting a woman but didn’t realize that I was the victim. She was sorry for the victim and said, “Poor kids!” But my sister recognized me immediately and told my mother. She panicked and when she couldn’t reach me on my mobile phone she had a nervous breakdown.”
“I don’t feel the pain” The young woman whom SOL contacted just a few hours after the incident said that although her body was aching because of the blows and kicks she had endured, the insults hurt her more and infuriated her. “At this moment, I don’t really feel the physical pain but I can’t stomach those words and the aggression. I am flabbergasted by the state of justice in my country and I am really concerned that these types of assaults might continue,” she said.
This young woman also expressed her disappointment about the fact that the police didn’t arrest the aggressors with machetes and sticks. She said it was shocking to know that while the protestors who defend their rightful demands have been taken into custody with brute force, the aggressors with machetes and sticks go about unchecked. She finished the interview with the following:
“With this incident I witnessed with my own eyes the things that I was already aware of and experienced at first hand the degree of hate crimes in our country. I really would like to trust Turkish justice but the killers of Ethem Sarısülük and Abdullah Cömert are still free. Furthermore, during the protests, many people were wounded and the perpetrators haven’t yet been found. This injustice hurts me more than anything. My family wants those aggressors to be duly punished. I’ve just talked with my brother-in-law. He is a brain surgeon. He operated on the 13-year-old girl, Berkin Elvan who was wounded severely by a gas bomb capsule that hit her head during the Taksim incidents today. He said that unfortunately the young girl is now brain-dead. The authorities should be held to account for all these brutalities and injustices. We want justice for all.”
7 July 2013
This post is also available in: Turkish