Just came back from Taksim, where I spent most of the day. After seeing the realities on the ground, I’m in no doubt, that it didn’t matter to the police, their leaders, the government and Recep Tayyip Erdogan if we were to die or not.
We did not stick with any stone throwers nor any political party groups, who were out to provoke and attract police violence. Battles went on most of the day in different places and we simply moved back into the square every time the police cleared an area. At one point the police tried to enter the park, but was stopped by a peaceful crowd and finally turned back to their positions on on the square.
After lunch, the square started to fill up with people, this continued until the evening and except a few little skirmishes all remained peaceful.
After 8 pm, the Carsi group arrived in numbers and a lengthy standoff with the police went on. Without any violence from our end, the police suddenly fired 20-30 gas bombs and we were all fleeing and as we couldn’t see anything any more, people started falling over each other, crashed into walls, barriers etc. The people the police shot at were average Turks, old, young, women, men, many of them holding pictures of Ataturk and we had been singing the Istiklal March just a moment before. We fled inside the park, but the police didn’t stop to assault and we were forced to go as far down as the Hyatt hotel on the other side of the park. Since one of our friends had been injured by a gas bomb fired at him from ten meters distance in the morning and another friend had been sprayed with a acid orange liquid later in the day, we were decimated and the three of us (my son, his friend and myself) decided to give it a rest and not further endanger our lives, especially since we had seen how the police attacked an ambulance around lunchtime, not giving a toss about the driver and the medic next to him. After the attack with a gas bomb the police immediately left the scene, running away. However, I hope this incident was filmed by people in the park and those who are responsible for this will be brought to justice.
A final word – the Turkish Prime Minister and his government have to go and I trust that all my friends there find ways to get rid of him.
12 June 2013