“Before we begin, I’d like to ask you when your penguin documentary will be on. Hello friends, comrades, the ones who defend the indivisible unity of the trees, how are you?
When we hear “Gezi Park,” it represents to us how the media is censored, how auto censoring has been developed, very clearly. The fact that we are speaking out to our friends at Halk TV (channel), who have witnessed the events the entire time, is also a reaction, a response to the media who thinks, “don’t touch me and I won’t touch you”. We would like to thank the media workers who have put an end to this censoring, who have heard the voice of the resistance. There has been an attempt to display the truth of the resistance on several channels. We had not yet paid the money for the penguin costumes that we ordered to display and announce both our own actions and the truth of the resistance, so they started reporting the news right on time.
They have fancy slogans (the news channels), which we know are not enough for news reporting, because they all say, “Be the first to know, with us” or “Always be informed with us”. They all have huge slogans and mottos but we saw what happened. The news reporters who were sent to report news live from Tahrir Square, from Libya, with the people’s money, were for some reason lost during our own events. The same reporter, who was a marvelous man when reporting from Tahrir, was cursed when trying to report events from his own country. These people faced the heaviest pressure. We as Redhack are actually used to finding out news about the Semdinli clashes and battles from the French press, so Semdinli feels like the suburbs of Paris to us. Yes, we are using humor, because this resistance will be remembered by not only its painful events and government violence, but also about its humor. The people have put out such creative, such nice, alternative responses, and these will be remembered too, because until the people realize the power that comes from consumption, it seems that the reign of the media and the pressure on the media will continue.
But, life is a master of creating its own alternatives, so we are honestly not so worried. We witnessed a lot of things during these events.
For instance, the Minister of National Education said, “We did what the opposition party could not do for years: we united all the unrelated groups, all the groups who never interact. This success belongs to our party.” This is a serious example, I mean, he doesn’t say this to be humorous, but it ends up being extremely humorous, because this is just another way of saying “we drove everyone crazy”. This should actually be taken as a confession, because we also saw that there was absolutely nothing left unreversed during these events. Ambulances, for example, are usually for saving lives, but in this country, we saw ambulances carrying and throwing gas bombs at people. People started asking each other: “Is that road safe?” – “No, don’t come, there’s cops there.”
The police should be standing for the people’s security, for the community, but we met a completely different side of the police, a much bigger portion of the population met this side. I mean, the ones who have a past in revolutionary acts and have experience with such events already know the other side of the cops, but the cops, through the resistance, was able to show their other face to a larger percentage of the population.
But we all see together a government which, even when learning from its mistakes, looks back on only a summary of what has happened. So I guess this is all that we can see from such a government. There is something that we always say, and we will insist on this always because there is nothing to prove otherwise: “there is a government that has organized AGAINST its people”. See, the pressure on the unions, pressure on the students, pressure on the artists, pressure on the press, the media, the workers…We don’t need to look back too far. If we look back on May 1st, we can see extremely clearly the government working against its people. One of the things that we always ask for and inevitably want, is “a limitless world”. We cannot say the same thing that Bulent Arinc said: that there are “weddings of distinguished people”. We don’t want to hear this sentence from anyone. We don’t want certain people to be “distinguished” and others to be common folk…which, by the way, the revolutionary struggle has always said. There were groups put to trial from 141 and 142. There were teachers and academicians laid off because of 1402 during September 12th (1980). We see this discrimination clearly and openly.
One of these “weddings” corresponded to the Reyhanli events, you’ll remember. They have really fancy mansions, flashy houses. Remember that the Prime Minister said, “if they walk to the PM house, of course the police will interfere.” So we ask,
“Even mosquitos come one by one to the people sleeping in the tents…You, at 4 in the morning, threw gas bombs, came with water cannons, and lit those tents on fire. Where should these people walk to?”
Are these things legal? We are trying to highlight the fact that “LAW” does NOT mean “JUSTICE”. And as we do this, they are ignoring even the existing laws. They use everything to their benefit: they say, there’s elections, there’s laws; but when it comes to the alcohol ban, they hide behind the 58th amendment of the constitution, but they ignore the 138th amendment which bans judicial intervention, and they ignorantly say “we instructed the judicial branch to do accordingly”.
One can ask, you fooled the people by saying, “we will deal with what happened during September 12th,” and “this constitution is not enough for people’s needs”. We want to mention, with appreciation, the ones arrested simply for using their right to remain silent, the volunteer lawyers who defended the textile workers, despite people saying “how dare you volunteer to defend protestors”. We want to stress and highlight the fact that we will never let anyone forget them. Revolutionary lawyers are our honor. Some started calling “Tunali Hilmi Street” by the name “TOMA’li Hilmi Street” (TOMA = Riot Control Vehicle, water cannon). How can you still speak of democracy?
The people have reminded that this is not an endless government power.
Gezi Park actually has really diverse people: really, there are people from all kinds of socio-economic groups, extremely different backgrounds, different origins. This resistance showed us the unity of people through peace, love, purity, how we can coexist in harmony.
But this is not only in Taksim Gezi Park. People resisted in Gazi district, in Dersim, in Ankara, in Izmir, in Adana, in Antalya, in many, many different cities around the country. We send these people our revolutionary salutes, we give them all a standing ovation. This is a struggle done for the people by the people, but they are trying to undermine this and describe it with “some illegal cults, some marginal groups, etcetera”. Someone needs to tell the Prime Minister that this is not possible! That’s not what this is. There’s always this “tear gas”. During the events our friends would look at us and ask us why we are teary-eyed, if it is because of the tear gas. “No,” we would say, “our eyes are teary, because for the first time the taxes we paid are being returned to us!”
In such an environment, the people always listened out with hope for the PM’s explanations and comments, hoping he would take even the smallest step back from this ignorant attitude, this oppressive behavior, this fascistic attitude that has been talked about in international media. People are looking out for what the PM might say, and he says, “voters brought us here, and only voters can take us down.” Well, the people seem to have taken this seriously, they seem to have understood just how to take him down.
Look, today, the PM made this declaration:
He said, “17 people died in the Occupy Wall Street movement.” The American Embassy denied this by saying nobody died! If a prime minister is using this false information, he should reconsider the advisors who told him this information. Because the Prime Minister, and also his partisans, are making absurd comments.
Yesterday, at the welcoming ceremony for Erdogan (coming back from a four-day trip), his own partisans accidentally chanted a slogan that opposed him! (“Tayyip, don’t test our patience”) We didn’t know whether we should cry or laugh at this absurdity! Then we wonder what kind of people those “50% of voters” are that he says he is “struggling to keep still” during these events. They can’t even shout chants. The PM says, “We have taken into consideration every democratic request ever since we came into power”. Well, won’t they ask you, “how is it that a constituent of Gezi Park can be an urban planner?”
We can see exactly how much he listens to his citizens from his actions: saying “take your mother and go away”, what he did about the Hopa event, about the ethnic scarf that Cihan Kirmizigul wore, from the woman who was almost beaten to death at the Izmir rally because she chanted a slogan, from saying “so what if your son is unemployed?” to a man asking for a job for his unemployed son. We know him. This is not new.
But we have to say, there is something that we agree with Erdogan on:
He says, “we have representatives in the parliament. Why is it that you are opposing us when they don’t have anything to complain about?”
He’s right! Yeah, what are these representatives good for? Why are they there?
However there is something that confuses us about these representatives. We ask,
“The people who are silenced, who are forced to waste a life in prison, the ones elected by the will of the population…are they included in these calculations, or are they not?”
The PM says, “If you’re going to be environmentalists, then be with me.” He always says “I want Van,” we thought he was just annoyed with the Mayor Bekir Kaya, probably because he was the one who revolted most about the earthquake in Van! But there is a new reason for this sentence every day. Right now, in Ercis, there are 200,000 trees being chopped down. Ayse Teyze (“aunt”) says that, regardless, she carries water bucket by bucket for those trees. 200,000 trees in Ercis!
But we can say a lot more about Van. We saw these things during the earthquake too. For years, these people paid taxes for potential earthquakes, there were fundraisers, there were accounts of funds for a possible earthquake. The earthquake happened, and we saw that these accounts were emptied!
We saw other things in Van too: something we still can’t understand, we don’t know how Acun Ilicali or his mother had any kind of contribution to this country, but we know that a school was renamed after the mother of Acun Ilicali.”
*** Question: “So from what you’re saying, we started off talking about the Gezi Park movement, but would it be true to say that the government approaches a certain select group with privilege?” ***
“Absolutely, without a doubt, you can say that. There are some operations carried out by the jurisdiction hand. But when the PM sends a representative to Pennsylvania, sends his greetings, and he’ll ask, “send my greetings, ask if he has any commands for me”, the population should ask:
“In WHAT democracy, in which democratic country, is there a figure, who has absolutely no political name, is not a bureaucrat, but all the permissions and commands are given by him?” Someone has to ask this question.
Further, the protestors at Gezi Park, who are criticized for “standing up for a couple trees”, should make the most noise.
We have a lot of critique that we can direct to the Dogus Group: the PM says, “live economically,” and they compare the profits from the Porsche sales versus the Volkswagen sales, both sold by the same Group, and they call the difference “savings”. So the PM changes consumption habits and promotes the sales of Volkswagen. We have a lot of concerns and a lot of criticisms about this topic.
In the 10 year period that this party has been in power, we saw how the media and the press were controlled by them. Didn’t people go to the ATV (channel) headquarters to protest? Didn’t they say, “let’s pay whatever is your cost, do your job humanly and honestly”? Didn’t they go to the NTV headquarters and say, “show us on live news too, we’ll pay the cost”?…
We want to highlight this: We are not talking about the workers in any media group. What we are saying applies to the bosses – who have become puppets and ideological tools of the ruling capital, of the domestic and foreign capital, who keep pumping false information to the public. Because we saw other examples too: we saw honorable people who said, “it is impossible for us to continue working in this oppressive system without selling our pens”. We don’t want to disrespect these people. We don’t want to ignore their labor and struggle.
*** (Comment): Like you said, at the point we are today, more than 90% of the media is like this. Press workers are really struggling. There have been times when we worked side by side, but they could not project this work onto the screen. They couldn’t show what was going on to people, and this is really hard for a press worker, for a media worker. ***
“Isn’t that also true for any place where freedom is restricted? Doesn’t the same happen anywhere that freedom is limited? We don’t understand this: the PM came out today and said some things, including some suggestions about the Taksim Military Barracks he’s trying to get rebuilt. He says, “Embrace our history. You talk without knowing anything about the background of Gezi Park.” That park used to be the Military Barracks. Yes, but what if the Armenian population, the Armenians whose Melkit Church was looted, the Armenians whose cemetery was run over with dozers and destroyed in Malatya, what if they come out and say, “Gezi Park was the Barracks, yes that’s true, but before the Barracks it was an Armenian cemetery!” What are you going to say? If you are so sensitive to history, what are you going to say about the Hasankeyf town which fulfills for 9 out of 10 requirements to be a World Heritage Site, but is being flooded right now under water? What kind of sensitivity is that? When the artist Tarkan came out and said, “Allianoi (Izmir) is being buried under sand and soil by dozers,” who was it that put him under so much pressure, questioned his sexuality, criticized his sexual orientation through mainstream media?
We haven’t forgotten any of these. We remember all of them. We keep everything in mind. They ask us, “why don’t you forget?” Well, because we are hurting!
We don’t forget the children who are raped in the Pozanti prison – a number that grows day by day – or the children who are raped in the Antalya prison and the Sakran prison. We want the people to know these things, we want these to be punished!
They’re worried about protecting history but we don’t think they know what they’re doing in the process. I mean, he comes out and says, “the Baroque architecture of the Ataturk Cultural Center”! I don’t want to sound elitist, please, but I want to make this clear: Baroque architecture is the name of a style, and the style of the Ataturk Cultural Center – correct me if I’m wrong – has absolutely nothing to do with Baroque architecture! This is what happens when a man tries to be a philosopher, a gynecologist, an anthropologist, a city planner, and an economist, all at the same time! This is what happens when he is so insufficient!
It’s so weird, as soon as the Gezi movement started, Lemi Bilgin was discharged. Then they try to call this “art,” they say, “we want art to be performed in more appropriate places, we want to obtain a legitimate opera building,” this is their argument. But wouldn’t I, wouldn’t the people ask, anyone who has the slightest sense of reasoning – we’re talking about recent history, 10 years at most – when the mayor of Ankara has said about Mehmet Aksoy’s statue: “I’ll spit onto such ‘art’”, when the same sculptor’s monument to peace has been destroyed because “it is too close to the Tomb of Ebul Hasan-i Harakani” in Kars, when theatres are being shut down, when the Emek Cinema was destroyed despite the people’s democratic opposition: What art are you still talking about?
Are you talking about the song “Gulpembe” that you made the Kenyan child memorize for the Turkish Olympics? Does your sense of art consist of this song “Gulpembe” and sharing an umbrella with Obama while singing the song “(We Stood Under the Rain Together)”? Are you measuring art relative to these? Is THIS art for you?”
*** (Question): I want to go into detail about the intervention of AKP in art, in private life… I want to talk about these because maybe the Gezi movement is an explosion of all of these things put together. Several weeks ago a new regulation was made about alcohol. The restrictions that you mentioned, are continuing, many art halls are being shut down. There is intervention, in so many places, can we say that all of these built up and “became the Gezi movement”? ***
“Absolutely! There is an accumulation there. What do we make of this accumulation? There is actually also synergy there. I’d like to make a small note about the people watching in different parts of Turkey, in different parts of the world. We were in Taksim. We were with friends, this was an advantage of being “illegal”, of hiding our faces so that they don’t overshadow our ideas. In one corner, people were doing yoga, in another corner, people were praying. Someone is reading a book, someone is playing the guitar. But nobody, not even one person, is abusing another, or pressuring another, or imposing another. Even today (holy day Friday), Revolutionist Muslims were praying, and other Revolutionists had formed a standing barrier around them, so that there is no provocation, there is no bother, there is no discomfort or abuse to them. But the same Revolutionist Muslims, running away from the violent police for dear life, enter a mosque with shoes, they are declared as the biggest sinners.
We are not a religion-oriented group. We are Marxist-Leninist, we say this openly, we are from the revolutionist practice, and in our 16-year-existence as a group, we have never seen false information spread so quickly. We have never seen people denigrate others so explicitly.
In our group, there are members who remember the September 12th period. But we have never seen such oppression, such victimization! I mean, there are news websites who not only lie and say “protesters drank alcohol in the mosque,” but take it as far as to lie and say, “they had group sex in the mosque”! What sense of conscience, what sense of humanity, what sense of honor is this? When we begin to speak of these things, there really is so much to say.”
*** (Question): “So can we say, what you just talked about, are these aimed at confusing people?”
“They talk about environmentalism. They are trying to minimize environmentalism to “a few trees”. This means simplifying it to false information. If this was about “a few trees,” then the American Embassy would answer this question: “Has the ownership of the Ataturk Forest Farm been transferred to you?” The American Embassy could not answer this question. They said, “we’re not the ones to talk to about this,” they did not say “it was not transferred”! We also remember: the 60-year old trees in the Ataturk Forest Farm make the area first priority to be protected. But those trees were put on paper as 20-year old trees, therefore reducing it to third degree, and so they started construction. It has been said that it is being built into a Prime Minister’s Residence.
We can say definitely: all the obstacles of privatizing the TPAO (national oil and gas company of Turkey) have been removed. We are a group that will never accept any tricks. RedHack emphasizes this too. While people were resisting at the Gezi movement, we were expecting this kind of move. The privatizing of the TPAO, which means that underground riches and natural resources can be sold with complete ease, has been established during the movements.
There are millions of trees to be chopped down for the third bridge – I emphasize – Cerattepe in Artvin is being run down as we speak, where there is serious massacre of nature because of mines.
We have been saying for years, in Mount Ida (Kazdaglari) there is serious plundering going on. Most recently there are the videos taken in Ercis in Van, where the police are attacking innocent people standing at a bus stop waiting to go to work. Are we going to ignore these? The whole world sees this, but our government is saying, “let them worry about themselves”.
The Occupy Wall Street movement has seen support from all continents except Antarctica. But do you know what the origin of all of the Occupy movements was? It was the Tekel workers’ resistance, in Ankara! They are trying to project it as if it wasn’t.
The cops the other day were pictured with their helmet numbers blacked out. The Minister of the Interior said “we are going to institute an inquiry about the helmets”. The Minister still hasn’t made an explanation of what happened on May 1st! The injuries, the police terror, the violence – he still has not been able to explain any of these.
If they need evidence about the cops with blacked-out helmet numbers, we have released evidence on our social media websites. These were sent to us – if people see RedHack as more trustworthy than the mainstream media, everyone needs to sit down and think for a minute.
People email us documents, saying “you need to see this”. In one of the documents, it said: “There is directive that the police must digitally record every event in every environment”. So today, the police cannot deny anything and say “we didn’t see this, we didn’t hear this, we weren’t there”.
Everyone is talking about the laws – I mentioned the alcohol ban earlier, there are really different things included in the alcohol regulation. What happened to saying that these laws are insufficient to the public? What happened to these laws being the leftovers from September 12th? Why do you use that as a back-up? They are trying to create the perception that everyone in the country is an alcoholic, that everyone is a drug addict. The PM calling people “alcoholics” is an extension of this, and so are the other titles. But 41% of the population claims to both consume alcohol AND pray!”
*** (Question): I’d like to ask: do you find the comments about these interventions to be provocative? For example, about the alcohol regulation, there is the saying “drunkard”, about the abortion regulation, there is the saying “every abortion is Uludere”…and there are many more examples. What do you think of these sayings being declared so bravely, so insistently?” ***
“We talk about these reckless sayings on our social media accounts all the time but we should emphasize this: we have other information and documents as well. The people who promote the alcohol regulation are the same people who say “We marketed the most of raki” , “there’s more than 40 types of raki in the country – you drink until you pass out anyway”.
We directed this question before, but now that we’re on the topic, let’s ask it again: hypocrisy, which means to say the opposite of what you believe – under which period of rule did this country learn this word? Did we know what hypocrisy meant before the AKP came to power? Lotteries and games of luck, betting on industrial soccer – when did these become most common? How popular were these before AKP and how popular are they now?
If you are going to make claims about these things, then you need to not have a nephew who was caught possessing 50 kilograms (100 pounds) of marijuana! The Prime Minister has a nephew who was caught with 50 kilograms of marijuana, a lot of people know this, and to those who don’t know this, we have proof.
They talk about terror, terrorist groups, marginal groups provoking the Gezi movement. But nobody gets up and reminds them: Sedat Selim Ay has been penalized by the European Court of Human Rights for the torture and rape he has done at Diyarbakir. He has caused the country to be penalized. But today he is the Istanbul Anti-Terror Branch Manager because the Prime Minister went and said, “I won’t let my man be ruined”! This is such a weird thing to say. Everyone is saying, “the PM is a good man, he doesn’t let the people down, he doesn’t let his ‘50%’ down”.
What kind of legal process is carried out in this country?
What sense of justice is there?
Ilhan Cihaner is being accused today of criticizing the Ismaili Community…The mechanism of the parliament is one we really don’t believe in. Because the delegate elections are strange, the congress elections are strange, the party executive board is strange. They have meetings on Tuesdays which are nothing more than street fights. As people who have made these observations in this parliament, we really don’t think that the parliament is functioning correctly. I mean, when you look at it, they give the necessary directive to the jurisdiction – they are trying to protect the Caglayan Courthouse from its own lawyers! There are really absurd things going on in this country. the Caglayan Courthouse has gone down in history as the only courthouse protected from lawyers.”
*** (Question): Turkey actually went down in history for many things during the last 10 years, which is interesting. Speaking of jurisdiction, many new cases emerged in the last 4 years, for example, the Balyoz coup plan, Ergenekon trials… What do you have to say about these?” ***
“I know that while asking questions you are also hoping that what we are talking about helps the people understand – the people who are constantly oppressed, displaced, excluded.
This is how we look at it:
We believe in the right to a fair trial. It is not in question for a socialist, for a communist to claim otherwise.
With every opportunity we emphasize, Law does NOT equal Justice. You already know that we don’t have many free platforms to declare our thoughts as we please. With every opportunity, especially from our social media accounts, we say that this equation is wrong. Because it doesn’t center around humanity.
People have never been so dissociated – people nowadays are always on a side. Until the day that someone in the Balyoz case will notice the injustice in the KCK case, until someone in the KCK will see the injustice in the Oda TV trial – until everyone speaks out about the injustice done to somebody else, these injustices will continue.
We are not siding with any of these trials. But there is something important and really strange: we have come across fabricated evidence in all of these trials through the work of hacking – you know there are hacker groups other than ours – and we have tried to insistently voice these injustices.
The police has confiscated the computers that Bogazici University had taken to examine for evidence. The things that we say about the Oda TV trials, we need to be able to say for the Balyoz. Not because we are siding with the people on trial, but because we are in the struggle for justice, only justice. Like the dear Efkan Bolac has said, “Justice is the post of the sky; without it the sky will collapse on us, in the Kutadgu Bilig. But now I’m calling it the Kutadgu Bilig and not its other name the “Wisdom of Happiness”, people might criticize me. Because if I call it Dersim, some get angry; if I call it Guroymak and not Norsin, some get angry, if I say Norsin and not Guroymak, others get angry. Same goes for Uludere and Roboski. When the PM’s hometown is still named Podolya, these discussions of names are unnecessary. If you understand the place I’m talking about, anything else is secondary, because Dersim has been Dersim for a thousand years, having to change that name is cruelty in itself.
During the Gezi Park movement, we really were waiting for a statement because that statement was important to us – because we perceive the population as a whole. We were waiting for representatives of Kurdish populations to come out and say something about this movement, to put forward their ideas, and that statement came; What the police is doing, the cruelty that the government is insistently carrying out… is unjust. They said, “We made certain sacrifices so that the peace process wouldn’t be disrupted – but the Turkish people are our brothers, we as people who have said “Turks and Kurds are brothers” for years… how can we stay quiet about these injustices?” We want to thank them for taking the initiative – we want to thank all the ethnic groups who did the same, in Bosnia, America, London, Paris, Zurich, Vienna, Caribbean Islands – all around the world people are reacting. Someone needs to take a step back and ask himself, “I’m the Prime Minister of this country, could it be that all these people are not wrong?” He has to at least ask himself.
If Hammami is declaring, “We will not eat with a dictator,” if The Economist, one of the most reputable publications in the world, says: “Is he a democrat or a sultan, we don’t know, we can’t figure it out”… we can add many more examples. We are trying to search all around the world, the reactions coming from the White House, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the others, the Iranian News Agency, Fars News Agency…you will see the same thing everywhere.
This is a very serious oppression regime. You might ask, “were the ones before this, not oppressive regimes?” This government has accumulated as much debt in this period as all 80 years of the republic. They thought that because the people did not speak about this, they wouldn’t speak about anything else. He asks, “the previous governments did these too, why didn’t the public speak out then?” Let’s answer the PM,
Because the people just woke up! The group of people who were aware of all of these was a small group. But they took it so far, they exaggerated the oppression so much, that the people will not stay quiet anymore. I mean, there really is so much to say.
Let’s talk a little about the Greater Middle East Initiative. He has statements saying we are co-chair of the initiative. If anyone has not listened to this statement, it is available on our website. Many times he has repeated this statement. But afterward, he said, “how can that be possible, if they can’t prove that I said this statement, they are undignified, dishonest, low people.” All of these words contain hatred.
They force the people into these kinds of statements through media that is completely controlled. But when you remind them of their own words, they go crazy with anger. It is harder than ever to create a statement over media. Tuncay Ozkan, who we can criticize in thousands of ways, is in prison today. We are not siding with his trial but the media which has projected everything about his arrest, has not said a single word about his justification or plea, besides certain websites and channels. The prosecutor recorded that his gun was not licensed, when in reality it was. As soon as Canan Baran spoke about the marriage of the President at age 15, the prosecutors immediately took action, but no prosecutor said anything about this injustice against Tuncay Ozkan. Everyone tries to maintain belief in justice in this country, everyone expects a move from prosecutors, but they are no longer this country’s, these people’s prosecutors. This is obvious.
Could there possibly be such thing as a “freedom prosecutor”? As a “freedom judge”? Could there be such thing as a special court? Look, we aren’t lawyers. There are people who can explain these concepts more wholly and clearly but we saw during the Gezi resistance, we need to know the law. We need to know our rights. There were people arrested in Izmir for sending hate messages, for provocative messages, for promoting revolution, on Twitter. We are not Kemalists but there are hundreds of offensive statements made about Ataturk, outside of the ones that the Prime Minister has said himself! There’s no problem when they criticize atheists through other religious beliefs. Some have bats with nails – they say they are civilian cops but we don’t believe this – these people have attacked protesters in Izmir. 20 of these people have beaten 21 year old Basak Ozcelik horribly. We want justice for all of these.
You ask them about the helmets with the numbers blacked out, their mouths run dry – because they have no explanation! There can be only one reason for the blacking-out of those helmet numbers: to prevent identification. What difference does this have with destroying evidence? Canan Baran stated that the President married his wife at 15 years old – which is not a lie, she is not lying, this is the truth. The prosecutors immediately take action for this, but in prisons, in Antalya, in Sakran, there are children being raped, and these people aren’t doing anything about it!
They say the stock market dropped by 8%, the global capital is in hesitation, etcetera, there is a 150-billion dollar worth capital in this country, Yesil Carlik, there is the Gulen community, why aren’t they concerned with these?”
*** (Question): For years we were hesitant to speak of the “Gulen community” because we were unsure of its existence. Do you think that we can openly say it exists now? ***
“Graham Fuller, in America, is a retiree from the CIA. He is the man who coined the term “moderate Islam”. He is also the man who said, especially in Kyrgyzstan, in the Turkish Republic, schools are designed to train CIA agents. But there is such harsh oppression on the press – it is impossible for you to find out this information from the media! In the Greater Middle East Initiative, there are press agencies that are “directed”. We have said this before. They say, “how is it that the government can have a factory, a highway? How can the government produce shoes? How can the government have a telecom?” Well, if the government can’t have any of these, then how is it that the government has a news agency? And why has Bulent Arinc recently increased this agency’s budget by four times?
We didn’t answer, the Moroccan News Agency did! The Moroccan News Agency identified that it was the government’s news agency, the Anadolu Agency, that fabricated the news about Nasrallah’s health condition after the battles in the Golan Heights.
Why do we have to be a part of these shames?
We don’t want the Reyhanli issue to be forgotten because the current events are changing so quickly. Our pain in Reyhanli is very recent. Not only Reyhanli, but Hatay was a symbolic city, it was one of the capitals of tolerance, along with Mardin. People coming from many ethnic backgrounds, speaking many different languages, many different religious beliefs living together – all of these were in these cities. We were hurt deeply in Reyhanli as well. You know that we have recently lost Abdullah Comert (in the Gezi movement). We are hurt about Abdullah’s death as well. We have other reasons too, about the cruelty in Hatay, about Al-Nusra there…
***(Question): I want to talk a bit about Reyhanli…why did it happen? There were so many warnings. Reyhanli happened despite all these…You know the news about the MOBESE (camera security system)…***
“There were two of them at the customs. All of the ones in the city, all of them were disabled. We have said before, and let’s repeat: look, the PM calls Twitter a troublemaker, he curses it. But these people spread false news themselves, over Twitter. We released the plate numbers of the vehicles used, along with the different possible instruments used in the explosions, with the documents about Reyhanli. We made these publications as RedHack. However, after the explosions, it was said that the actual plate numbers did not match the ones that we released. And this statement was made before the prosecutorial could even make a statement! There was a pit at Reyhanli, but the pit, as if it wasn’t a crime scene, all of a sudden the municipal employees cleaned it up, all of the evidence was accepted as junk and brought to a junk yard, and the pit was filled with asphalt.
The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergei Lavrov, said, “Turkish authorities, where was this gas coming from, where was it going, make this clear to us”. We have to put an end to this ignominy. The ones who still say “we are going to develop peaceful relations with our borders,” the ones who still aren’t ashamed of saying this…I mean, we have problems with everyone.
We don’t want to be a part of this. We made this clear, as the Turkish people, to the Syrian government, but we cannot make it clear to our own government! We can’t, and we probably never will.
I mean, the cop who died in Adana, named Mustafa Sari…why are these people dying? Why do they have to die? What kind of reasoning is this:
Where in the world did they accept a government that believes in death more than in life, and why should we?
But let’s also emphasize: There is someone forgotten during this movement. We have not forgotten Mehmet Ayvalitas, Ethem Sarisuluk, the other municipality employee, the ones who lost their eyes, the ones with stitches in their heads, the ones in trauma, then there is Duran Akbas who is still struggling to keep alive. But do you know? There is one person who is forgotten. There was a little boy, a paper collector in Adana, he died! We were told that he “died with the cop who fell over the bridge during the chaos”. But who should pay attention to a paper collector boy anyway? The PM always encourages having at least three children – a little boy died in Adana, but why should he care?
2.5 year old Kubra died from hunger! From hunger! A 26 year old mother hanged herself – we only know her initials, E.A., because the cruelty in this country is always minimized into initials!
People are dying here; you can die in a TOKI basement in this country, you can die in a mine in Zonguldak, you can die like Metin Goktepe who died today because he “fell over a wall”! And then one day a war plane can appear over your head and you can die like the 34 people in Roboski. An arsenal can explode like in Afyon, and you can die as the “25 soldiers”. You can go to serve the military just because you can’t get married yet, and go with 11 friends to the Afghan mountains – for whatever reason we are on the Afghan mountains to begin with? – and you can die as “NATO snacks” like those kids…You can always die in this country!
Taksim…The Taksim resistance reminded us of who we are. All the people who were constantly discriminated against, constantly “other”ed, all of these people became a part of this resistance. The artists, celebrities supported it. You know all of them, you recognize them. They said, “don’t touch my theatre, don’t take away my freedom of speech”. Homosexuals, we thank all of them, they attended to wounds, gave away their beds to the injured, gave them water, helped them heal – we thank them. The Alevis, Kizilbas, Haji Bektash Veli Cultural Association, the foundations, non-governmental organizations, the ones who kept their pharmacies open, the tradesmen who gave away water…we thank all of them.
This is what is trying to be projected: “The protesters destroyed vehicles, houses, they caused so much damage”. Look, we can very easily prove otherwise. We have proof.
It’s not possible to say this: we can’t say “the protesters have not made any mistakes,” but we need to highlight:
We know who destroyed those vehicles, we know how they organized in Uskudar, we know exactly who organized them, it is only a matter of time before we declare this information. We know for a fact that they have nothing to do with the movement. We are aware that provocateurs mixed in with the protesters. We made sobriety calls about this – be careful not to lose your justification, make sure this stays as a peaceful movement. Because through peaceful ways we already are able to show the insufficiency of this government, the inheritance from the previous governments – that right-wing conservative and repressive regime – we have stated that they are increasing and continuing this.
We know that we can win this movement through peaceful ways. We are completely aware of this. They drove their vehicles into people in Ankara! People saw this! We know the details behind the death of Mehmet Ayvalitas. We are always in politics. You will say, “Weren’t you said for Mustafa Sari the police officer?” According to the Law of Police Powers – if I’m mistaken please correct me – “if a protester, a suspect, has acted outside of his democratic rights, and has been taken under control, it is a crime for the police officer to beat him”! But we see people who have completely fallen to the ground and are knocked unconscious, and the cops keep beating them. This happened before, it happened on May 1st. I mean, Mustafa Sari fell down a bridge and passed away. His wife is five months pregnant. Who has the right to leave that child without a father? Who has the right to drive the police like this? Who can have the right?
But in the same way, the first day of the movement, when three protesters fell from a wall and got injured while running away from the gas bombs, and were unable to move, cops went and threw gas bombs directly at them. And we are tired of this police terror, we are sick of it. It’s enough. Aren’t you ashamed at all? How do you look at your family when you get home? Don’t they know you’re working at the protests? The guy is already running away from you, he didn’t even throw anything at you but there is always talk about firebombs, about steel shots being thrown at the police.
Dilan Alp, daughter of a textile worker, they said she has a criminal record, she is part of an organization. She wasn’t part of anything. They said she was carrying a firebomb, but she was actually carrying a bottle of vinegar so that her eyes would not burn with tear gas. Despite the fact that all of these were proven, the governor – who is the same governor as for the Gezi movement by the way – continues with the same ignorance!
The security forces have a new tool that is a ray gun, which uses magnetic waves to numb and temporarily disable people. The police are seeing this movement as an opportunity to try this out.”
*** (Question): What the police has been using on protesters has been widely debated, for example during this Gezi movement, it started off with tear gas and then it was said that orange agent was used. Then they said they did not know what was in this gas but that it was very different from tear gas. How can these be used so ruthlessly? ***
“Let’s ask short questions, questions that make us think will help us out of these days.
In a shopping mall, two civilian cops violated the smoking ban, and they were warned by a waiter. We have a video showing how they stood up with rage and beat that waiter horribly. Shouldn’t the law-maker follow the laws before everybody else?
We know from the previous Minister of the Interior, Idris Naim Sahin (we had no doubt that this would continue because it is an administrative practice), he had ordered metal batons for the police to “increase service quality”! He had ordered flashlights that temporarily blinded its victim.
Nobody talks about this: There are 32,000 arrested terrorists in the world. How can we be so frantic, so distraught, how can we have forgotten the traditions of our country, that almost HALF of these 32,000 terror prisoners are in our country? When did we become such terrorists?
But the label of “terror” is such an easy label. You can just call someone a terrorist, we talked about several cases before, and there are even more. It is easy to create a perception of terror in this country. This is why the practice of revolution is so late to arrive here – we don’t want to step on the memories of our past revolutionist friends and their struggles – but since before September 12th, they have called us anarchists, socialists, communists, they have used these labels everywhere, because oppression doesn’t end. Wherever we turn to, wherever we chat with friends, we see this pressure.
The removing of the statue of Deniz Gezmis at Mimar Sinan – isn’t that oppression? I mean, there’s oppression everywhere! They said “free education is a right”, but 4,500 college students were expelled for saying the same thing! 650 were put on trial, Berna Yilmaz has been arrested, she is still in jail for demanding free education. The ones who say “we made education free” must explain this to us.
We showed everyone what the Council of Higher Education (YOK) really is. We released the Council’s documents, and a journalist named Sami Mentes was arrested because he looked into these files – he is the youngest arrested journalist in the world! In the Hrant Dink murder, the lawyer who was on duty to defend Hrant’s rights and thought that his murder was suspicious, when he was investigating, he was arrested for “being a militant”, ”being a terrorist”!
Who is a terrorist? What is terror? Doesn’t terror bring oppression? Doesn’t it bring cruelty and torture? If terror is such a dreadful thing, then the PM should come out and explain to us:
When we come out and speak, we don’t want to say random sentences. Because our understanding of hacking is different. Look, they go on TV today, they promote and sell rings, and they call themselves hackers. Ayse Arman had done an interview with a hacker, and he had said, “I steal files from others, then I sell them. I’m not a charity.” The interview is still there.
People go on TV to make propaganda against us, with empty papers in their hands, with gelled hair, they claim certain charges. Well, we know about the meetings these hackers have in Cyprus. They are rewarded with tea and cake and plaques, but RedHack is on the terror list for standing with the people, for looking out for the benefit of the public!
Then they abandoned this label, saying, “Oh, these aren’t terrorists”. I mean, they think we take these labels, these lists seriously. But, I’m afraid they are in greatly mistaken.”
*** (Question): Let’s talk a bit about your position in social media. Some people were arrested for communicating about the Gezi movement on Twitter.***
“When Fazil Say sends a tweet, it’s a crime: they say he is directing the people, he is offensive to the moral values of the people. They almost tried to judge Omer Hayyam with him too!
We saw the arrests in Izmir. These people are facing the threats from hacker groups who claim to be standing with the government. They tried to start a disagreement over social media. But the people were so united, that they chose to ignore the insults directed to them, so that the peace wouldn’t be ruined. People are trying to organize over social media. There are accounts, images of conversations, of people planning lynches. But nobody is taking action about these!
I mean, is there always, “my hacker, your hacker; my man, your man”? If the hacker is siding with the resistance, with the people, then he’s damned, he’s excluded. If popular social media users are siding with the resistance, then they are “bad people”.
“The government is with us.” Weren’t they motivated by this thought when beating people in Izmir – Gundogdu, Alsancak?
The AKP Youth Branches president is so reckless that he grabs his bat and goes on the hunt, because he is thinking, “The police is on our side anyway”. The same is happening in Hatay. There are people in Dersim who cut off the electricity and try engage in certain conspiracies, but they are never successful. They attacked people in Gazi, in Sarigazi, in Maltepe, in Bakirkoy.
Are we going to count these people in the 50% that the PM says he can barely keep at home? We can’t seem to do the math behind these statistics. Are these the 50% that weren’t on the streets? They judge people because they violated the 2911 law about unauthorized demonstration and walk, they judge them through Twitter – well, was yesterday’s demonstration at the Ataturk airport lawful according to the 2911?
The PM says he wants youth that uses computers, but we see that the AKP youth rather uses texting, we have screenshots that they organized for the airport demonstration using chain text messages! And we don’t understand, I mean, he never stops talking about how he wants young people to use the computer…
We’re not so bad at using the computer, but he doesn’t love us!
***(Question): I also want to ask, another news during this Gezi movement was the third bridge. The construction has began, and people are discussing the positives and negatives of this bridge for Istanbul. At the same time, the name Yavuz Sultan Selim was discussed for the bridge. This faced reactions especially from the Alevis. What would you like to say?***
“If we try to list one by one the discrimination and cruelty that Alevis have faced in history, we would need to have a whole talk dedicated to just that.
They obsessively worry about the revealing clothing in the TV show about Sultan Suleiman, but they aren’t the least bit careful of the Alevi massacres done by Yavuz Sultan Selim or by Ebussuud. This should have no justification.
Why shouldn’t this bridge be named after a poet in love with Istanbul? Why isn’t it declared a symbol of the resistance, and named after any one of the people who crossed bridges to help other protesters? Why isn’t it named after one of the people who died in these events? Why isn’t it named after one of the great minstrels of Anatolia, after Mevlana who the whole world knows, or after Yunus Emre? We, too, want to know why this sensitive spot is touched so insistently.
If we could, we would name the bridge after one of these things that we said. Name it Abdullah Comert (comert meaning generous in Turkish), let it represent generosity, let it symbolize youth and resistance. The cop in Adana will never see his son, and neither will Abdullah… If it really must be built, let this new bridge be a symbol of the end of this cruelty.
Because there will be a massacre to nature there as well. As RedHack, we are also following the dynamics of the urban development at Okmeydani and Kemerburgaz. Suat Kilic is a minister – we have proof that he has bought for such little money, land in the middle of Ankara. In addition to these urban transformations, this third bridge has been added.
If a new bridge needs to be built in order to regulate the flow of traffic, we aren’t the ones to decide on this. City planners, related authorities, and the people will decide. If it must be built, we as RedHack see the proposed name of Yavuz Sultan Selim as a deliberate move of discrimination using sensitivities.”
***(Question): What do you think of the government’s approach to the struggles of the Alevi population?***
“This is probably forgotten, we’ll remind of it, we’ll continue to be the memory cards of the public. Society has been blunted… Both through consumption instruments, and through deliberately leaving people uneducated… But, do you remember the Alevi family in Malatya, who was abused with drum-playing at night during Ramadan? This family was abused, and during the trial, because the head of the family stumbled on his words, he was charged with obstruction of justice. Think about it, you’re sleeping in your home, they come and wake you up, they chant some insults, they incite a fight, and when you say “what’s going on,” they attempt to lynch you…and you get sued! Nobody else gets punished, you get sued.
There is so much that the Alevi community has been through. We can make a list starting from the 60’s. There’s Maras, Corum, Sivas, Dersim…we can list a lot of places and events… There was a time when people cold sleep in peace. I know you think that these days were long, long ago. But this is really like muscle memory, if the term is right. When there is the need, the body remembers the practices it had previously done. The memory of the government is like muscle memory, it insistently continues to project these horrible practices. Every single time, they discriminate against the minorities and women – there is unbelievable cruelty against women – they ignore other beings’ right to life. Do you assume that animals weren’t affected by the chemicals during the events? RedHack has images and videos of how the animals were affected.
We honestly don’t want these discriminatory politics. We want respect for all sexual orientations. We want respect for all beliefs. We could actually sum up the Gezi movement by saying:
We want respect.
We aren’t servants to anyone. It is said that 50% of the population is waiting at home, fine, that may be true, maybe they really are looking for the slightest command from the PM, maybe they really have turned into little puppets controlled by a remote control, that certainly is possible! But even if that’s true, this resistance has shown the other side of the story, the other half of the population, and reminded that these people make up the other 50%!”
***(Question): Speaking of women, I’d like to ask about their condition in Turkey…***
“There is a lot that we could say about women in Turkey, including the events which we have been to ourselves. We need to look back on the number of deaths of women in this country: how many women have been killed from husband violence, how many women have been killed in honor killings, how many women have been killed because of tribal laws, and how many women have been killed from being victims of incest?
Before Malatya became a metropolitan municipality, the PM went there and said, “to become a metropolitan, you need a population of 750,000. Malatya women, are you ready?”
Ready for what?? Our women could not ask “ready for what?”! We are talking about an administration that came into government using the talk over women’s headscarves.
Women almost beaten to death at the Sirkeci police station, women beaten in Izmir, women who go to police stations to seek help from poverty, from deprivation… Aren’t you tired of picking on women?
We proudly declare, we have women protestors, including RedHack’s own members, there are women among our friends, our comrades who help us sift through endless documents and files. But, we also can’t accept the belittling of women through this continuous rape culture. Mute people, deaf people, people with some disabilities, these people who are raped but are declared “willing” because they didn’t – couldn’t – defend themselves… When this is still going on, when women are still being sold and bought, don’t anybody dare come out and talk about women’s rights in this country. “Saturday Mothers” (a community of mothers looking for justice about losing their relatives and children during arrest or to unsolved murders) come together every Saturday to represent 17,000 cases. How many weeks have they been coming together for? What does Mother Berfo (Kirbayir) represent? Wasn’t she a woman, a mother who lost her child? Weren’t the others the same? These people were dragged by their hair on Istiklal Avenue because “it looks ugly to tourists”! We don’t want this anymore! We don’t want it, we don’t accept it! We never accepted it, and now even more people stand against it. Because when we are together, when we don’t dissociate, we can see through this movement, that we can achieve our goals more easily.
If the fingers are cut off, there is no fist anymore: for years, they have been cutting those fingers.
We as RedHack will stand against the cruelty towards women, and we know that we’re not alone, we know that we have a big family behind us. We will never be silent about the oppression to women.
Look, you know what the core of the problem is? Being afraid of equality! Being afraid of equal individuals! Under all of these problems, there is this kind of mind. “Armenians don’t like us, Pomaks don’t like us, Circassians don’t like us, Arabs don’t like us, Kurds don’t like us… A Turk has no friend other than another Turk,” they say.
If you are successful in becoming friends, becoming brothers with the Anzacs who you fought at the Battle of Canakkale, but you can’t do the same with Kurds; if at a national soccer game you chant “whoever doesn’t chant with me is an Armenian”; if you call people Greek just because they try to stand up for nature at Artvin-Hopa; if you discriminate against Alevis calling them Kizilbas, if you discriminate against the Romani people, who we believe are the world’s most free people, and you take away their homes for some urban development, if you criticize homosexuals and their sexual orientations – note that I’m not calling it their sexual choices, let us please be careful with this. We were strangers to these words but our homosexual friends who helped us at Gezi Park taught us the difference between these words. They said, for us there is no yellow, red, blue to pick from, this orientation is out of our control, please help us make this clear. We are also grateful and proud of speaking for these people.
We are tired of this lack of respect.”
***(Question): Let’s talk a little about child workers and child brides, there are thousands of them in Turkey.***
“We honestly don’t believe in their accuracy, but there is something called the Turkish Statistical Institute, which displays certain statistics. Simply by looking at these we can know that there are more than 1 million child workers in this country. We want the society to know and we don’t want them to be quiet about this anymore. WIthout any form of assurance, any security, more than 1 million children work in this country. There is the issue of child brides being bought and sold at very young ages. We have to speak out for these children being made into brides. As if they have any insurance, during this administration, the obstacles stopping 16 year olds from working jobs with a death risk, have been lifted one by one. This was published in official newspapers. You can work in jobs with a risk of death if you are 16. You can die if you are 16. As if we have forgotten that for the past 10 years, more than 12,000 people died from industrial accidents. As if we have forgotten Serkan who fell from a construction site and died. We are coming from this kind of background.
We don’t forget! We will not forget, we will not let anyone forget. We will remind those who forget. We have no other way out.
There is so much struggle in this country, there’s a silenced media, there are artists being silenced, there are students, workers being put under pressure. On May 1st, as if foretelling, we came out and asked, “What if Assad says, ‘the Erdogan administration is torturing its people, we can’t be silent about this’ what will we say?” We reminded on May 18th, we said, “What if Netanyahu says, ‘Erdogan criticizes us but look at his Istanbul,’ what are we going to say?” I mean, the PM says, “this is how protests are put out in the west too! Look at England, look at our neighbors Greece!”… Someone needs to remind this man that bad examples are no examples at all. Seeing that it is our mission, we as RedHack will.”
***(Question): Let’s talk about the shores, there are big, fancy hotels being built on our shores. I know that you have some opinions about the coastal protection laws.***
“We are hurting, because: we, communist, socialist people, are not really worried about borders or material wealth. We believe that that’s not right. The world is our playground, we all live together. Look, what does the PM do about the contractor who “messed up the silhouette of Istanbul”? All he does is huff at him! But then it turns out, the PM’s own bureaucrats had signed these contractor’s projects. How could he have carried out these projects without these signatures? Why couldn’t they stop the construction of the Acarkent in the Bosphorus? Why doesn’t anybody say anything to the people trying to transform the Kuleli Military High School?
There are serious vulnerabilities in this country. I’m discluding certain exceptions because ignoring honorable exceptions would be a disgrace to our own manner. With certain exceptions, the opposing party of our day has not been carrying out its duty. We have said before:
If opposition is like a sensor toilet lamp that lights only when there is filth and then turns off when it’s sent away, we reject this!
If the limit to the coasts in the coastal protection law has been reduced to 20 meters, and nobody says a word about this, this is treason. If we are going to talk about treason, we protesters aren’t the cause of this. The cause is the people that are trying to sell off this country, and the ones who aren’t doing anything about the cancelling of the coastal protection law. If there is a “homeland frenzy,” then all of these are its ingredients. This land doesn’t belong to people who have never read a speech but stand up to give one. The ones who declare themselves the owners of this country just because they carry three crescents on the handles of their guns, are in treason. It is not possible for anyone to be the owner of this country this way. We have so much to say, how can we fit it in one conversation?”
***(Question): I want to ask you about the patriots. It had great support from Europe. How much will it protect us, what do you think?***
“Honestly, we don’t see the patriots to be any different than refugee camps. We think that it is a part of the Greater Middle East Initiative. We see the plans of isolating Iran as part of the games on Lebanon. It is interesting that members of the parliament can’t enter these refugee camps – again, I emphasize that we are not parliamentarist people, we are not worried about that but we end up having to use these terms to be able to speak about the truth. Members of our parliament can’t enter, but the American consul of Adana went and he was greeted at the door, he was hosted nicely. I apologize to all listeners, to all friends, but this is the exact term: this was one of the proofs of how we are a puppet of America.
The radar at Kurecik is the same thing. They said this was for the defense of the country, they said they worked day and night for this and to protect the country, this is what they tried to make people think. This country could not have needed such radar system, but when it did, when we became active in the Greater Middle Eastern Initiative, more than anybody else, those missiles, why did some countries have to support us about the financement of those missiles? Just like how Saudi Arabia and Qatar transferred 10 billion dollars to us in order to direct the Syrian operations, there are serious amounts of money that entered the Turkish economy because of this reason… We need to call these missiles with their correct names: it says “Patriot” on them! For friends who may not know the meaning of this word, Patriot means loving one’s country…the Patriot rockets probably love the country they were produced in, not us!”
***(Question): I think that has delivered the message. I want to talk about the elections, especially in the recent elections, the public has had doubts about the accuracy of the results. They wondered if there had been cheating done. Do you have any actions about this?***
“We are always asked if we are working on certain things. Is there anything coming up, are you busy with any new actions? We are stronger now than before. We think that we have expressed our concerns, our ideas, to a large amount of people. The steps that we take in our plans are part of a larger strategy. This is where we want this strategy to lead to: we want a classless society without exploitation, a place where the people can live freely and as they please; we want the government ruled by collaborative, sharing producers. We don’t want a government where we produce and others consume. This is what we are trying to do.
And we should put it this way: Rather than us taking action upon the electoral system, the people should own the electoral system, they should take the initiative like they did at the Gezi movement; if need be, representatives should keep guard next to the ballot boxes. Because we know that during the election, results were declared from ballot boxes that hadn’t even been opened yet. This couldn’t be prevented. And we’d like to add, there is a unit in this administration called the Undersecretariat of Public Order and Security. This unit could not employ any foreign workers before. All of the restrictions for employing foreign people, during this administration, have been lifted. The necessary legal changes have been made to existing laws. Therefore they employed an American cyber security guard. Under a system whose infrastructure is controlled from overseas, do you really believe in a fair election, can you really say the winners have won righteously?
And can you also answer: When today’s PM did not have any titles, was not a bureaucrat, was not a mayor, was not a member of the parliament, how many times did he go to the United States? How many times was he invited? And following these, how has he won with big differences? If there were a fair electoral system, someone would be able to answer these.
I’m not saying this by singling out any particular parties, but immunity has become an armor. Today’s PM is freed from 60 out of 80 trials through expiry, what justice are we talking about? It is a shame that people who manipulate laws for themselves are so comfortably making comments about other people’s sensitivities. This parliament spends 56 million liras on health, has cars with 16,000 liras monthly rent, and 14,000 liras annual tax. We released the files documenting how much they spend on tea: these people, in 6 months, spend 70 thousand liras on tea and pastries! We as the people want to get rid of these humps in our back. We want to work toward this and we want the electoral system to be fair, we to get rid of the electoral threshold, we want all minorities to have representatives in the parliament. If all the unemployed people formed a party, according to our calculations, they should have at least 75 representatives in the parliament. In a system which doesn’t work this way, we can’t talk about fair representation. This is impossible.”
***(Question): Again about the elections, we get a lot of questions asking if it’s possible to play on the results of this electoral system. You are experts on this. What do you think?***
“Without a doubt, it’s possible. Ultimately there’s something we always say: “Every system has a rhetoric, a reasoning. It is possible to disable the system using the same rhetoric backwards.” So, we think, through some manipulation of course this system can be played on.
Something weird comes up anyway: “if during this movement, the Revolutionist Muslims are with us, if these people cannot keep silent about the exploitation of their religion and they are with us protesting, then who is this 50% that is sitting at home? What kind of people are this 50%?” There is a serious misjudgment here. The ones who give speeches about the love of the homeland should pay attention to these things. They should pay attention to Reyhanli, to nature issues… The people who say, “RedHack, I’m sending you these files because I’m not comfortable not doing anything about this,” and send us documents, they are all a part of this. In Reyhanli, soldier Utku Kali was imprisoned for allegedly sending us those Reyhanli documents. We don’t know Utku, he was innocent! When Utku was first arrested with his friends, we tweeted, “why are these kids arrested?” If it was really one of those kids who sneaked the documents to us, which we think is a very honorable thing to do – to prevent the country from being pushed into a war – it requires a revolutionist foresight and heart, we would have known why they were arrested, we had no idea. Then they took two people from Amasya to Sivas, another one who was friends with Utku – we don’t know him either, we kept asking, “What do you want from these kids? Why are you torturing them?” If out of all of these people, it was Utku who gave us the information, how would you know how he did it? Yes, but we need a real prosecutor to ask that! If a prosecutor is asking, in 2013, “tell me, where does this Mahir Cayan live?” then there is no justice in Turkey, there is no independent jurisdiction, there is only law that has been manipulated.
Both the current administration and previous ones have used law in different ways, but we are not concerned with the details – to us, a thief is a thief, an honorless is an honorless, we’re not concerned with anything else. We released documents of the Izsu scandal too. Aziz Hocaoglu was saying that he would heavily punish the workers who took part in the strike, but we’re wondering if Aziz Hocaoglu has punished the staff member who received a promotion using a fake ODTU (METU) diploma! The guy scanned a fake diploma, and now he’s a manager! We’re curious about this, we are hearing things about it but we will release the documents as soon as we get them, we are hearing that Melih Gokcek is in the preparation of a rally for the 50%! We really don’t recommend it, we really don’t.”
***(Question): There is a lot of speculation about Melih Gokcek (mayor of Ankara), there are so many complaints about him, yet he stays in office. Do you have any comments?”
“We have commented before on this too, when he tries to privatize “Baskentgaz,” nobody wants to buy it, saying, we won’t buy this formation which has been misused like this”. Capital normally has no bounds. Capital is everywhere there is profit, because the details are never important. But when it comes to Baskentgaz, people hit the brakes, because it has been emptied, it has been misused, it has been centered around unfair earnings. The Kecioren Metro, and other metros have been transferred to the ministry. Ankara has 40-something “twin towns and sister cities,” including Tokyo, and out of all of these, Ankara is the one with the most debt. It has more debt than the New York municipality. Last summer, there was dirt, aluminum leaking out of faucets, I hope it doesn’t happen this summer, if the people keep reelecting him then there is nothing we can say. There is no end to the things we have to say about Melih Gokcek! He is such a bad person – I’m calling him ‘bad’ only because I don’t want your channel to be fined, I’ll leave it at that – he is such a person that he released the phone number of a 17-year-old girl over his Twitter. We displayed through documents and files how he has been involved in unlawful constructions when we hacked the account of the Vice President of the Chambers of Commerce Faik Yavuz.
I mean, what are people waiting for to see the truth? We really want to know. Us 12 socialists, if we were able to do this along with the thousands of people we call our family, we would already have changed this country.
We want the people to be more active, more sensitive, we want them to react just like they did at the Gezi movement. We expect them to react to the smallest event. We would like to say our last words,
If one day we get caught, if we, like our revolutionist leaders, brothers, comrades, are stopped before our time, if we fall or, it is possible, are murdered; this is our testament to all our people:
If you really believe that we have deserved it through what we have published, the actions we have taken, the attitudes we have embraced, if you believe that we deserve it, go out onto the streets, and don’t go back home without building an equal, fair world without exploitation.
Because none of us are afraid. We have kept our promise of always standing with the people, and we forever will.
We greet you all with our revolutionist respect and love.
This post is also available in: Turkish