Yurt: Life transformed in Abbasağa

NEWS CENTER- After Gezi Park protests, the resisters we talked during the forums in Abbasağa pointed out that nothing would be the same. The resisters do not want to turn back to their previous lives, they call each other all the time and they say that all these events   prove that their dreams are to be realized. The resisters think that, after the resistance, everything will be learned by experiencing and that the forums will supply the culture of democracy. They come together without forgetting about the pain they feel inside for those who died during the resistance.They believe and hope… Here are the expectations of the resisters from now on.


Bimen Zartar, 37, historian

What are you doing within the working groups you created?

First of all, we learn about the democracy culture of the Turkish Republic for the first time here, that`s everything can be learnt. Now anybody can create a working group if they like. And they do not have to get help from anybody or any institution for this. Because this is democracy culture. At first, people thought that they should coordinate these working groups, and create certain working groups; however, this turned out to be a process structuring bureaucracy, not democracy. Soon this threat was noticed and we preferred the simplest method: ‘Let it be a bit of a mess, everything will be all right in time.’

Are there any conflicts among people, who had forgotten coming face to face with each other when they came here with different expectations?

Of course. For instance, we experienced a problem a little while ago. A friend said, ‘Today is a blessed night; therefore, we propose not drinking alcohol within the park.’ And I objected to this since we are in the streets just because they interfered with our life styles. They said, ‘Be strategic or not, AKP is using this.’ Let them use it! After all, I am here to say, ‘I have a right to drink, it’s none of your business.’ Nobody can impose the idea ‘I am a Muslim, you will respect.’ on me. Then, I do not want you to eat meat at Easter!

Do all these people think only about the trees in Gezi Park?

The first event in Gezi Park was a defence. Because a park is your living room in fact. It is a place you go with your family and friends to spend time together, to socialize with people. We had already diverted from this idea. It was neither a matter of trees nor the demand for ‘The government should resign.’ We said, ‘Do not interfere with our lives.’ Mostly the young people born during 1985-1990 stood up and protested against this. They were apolitic; however, they were individualistic and they had a kind of a sense of freedom of their own. Most of these youngsters are neither socialist nor revolutionist. If you ask what the good side is: For instance, in Gezi Park people remembered that they were able to have fun together. You talk to people, you get on with them, that’s OK but having fun together is much more important. There is nothing powerful than laughing. People remembered laughing together. This has been won and it is something that cannot be lost even if you want. I focus on the things we gain and on the actual course of events, not afterwards. We should not get angry with anybody. Because nobody was prepared for something like this. This is learning process, and we will learn.

People always used to ask me why I didn’t leave here as I was an Armenian. Each time just when I said ‘I want to leave this country,’ I used to experience such a dialogue with a taxi driver or someone I newly met, then I used to say ‘I am here because of this dialogue, that’s why I love this country.’ Now I am with lots of people reminding me the fact that I love this country. And now I do not want to leave here anymore.


Gökçen, 28, city planner

For how many days have you been here and what do you think about the process?

It is the first time that I’ve come to Abbasağa. Once I went to Üsküdar Doğancılar Park. There are things that everybody memorized, talked about persistently but never understood properly. This is a peaceful protest starting with Gezi Park to get rid of oppressive mentality. I have always supported this, and I will go on supporting. I hope it will be understood that we are not provocateurs. Our trade assosication has brought the process to trial. During this process, although a sudden and unexpected project was claimed to be a pedestrianization project, we faced with a plan to totally prevent the puplic from coming together there.

What do you expect the forums to evolve into?

In fact, I am indecisive at this point. I am indecisive about politization as well. I desire this movement to take part in the parliament in a way. However, no matter with which name it takes place in the parliament, it will definitely face the reactions of a group. Because this is a multi-directional protest. That’s why, I am restless. I do not want this group to disperse, but I want its representation to go on in a way.

What disturbed you most during this process?

If the government had approached the issue peacefully but not provokingly at first, then we would have been an example with our democracy. However, they pursued a policy that was exactly opposite of this by lingering on trivial points in each speech and making it a big problem. Do they want the public to be in the streets all the time? I do not understand what they want to do and I am restless about this. I am too restless about the mainstream media. I do not watch them anymore. I am fed up with the words ‘provocateur’ and ‘marginal’. Who are those people called as ‘marginal’? I wonder what the purpose is in exposing the people to the police violence persistently or in providing the ground for conflicts among people.


Duygu,  lawyer, 30; Arzu,  sociologist, 35; Seda,  lawyer, 28

What have you experienced during this process? Did this event burst out when you lost your belief in human?
Arzu: I didn’t lose my belief in human; however, I lost my belief in the public. When I looked at my surrounding, I used to think that we were a minority and I didn’t think that such an event would lead to a big explosion like this. I consider the process very positive and I am hopeful about the future.

What do you expect the forums to evolve into?
I think it will go beyond a spontaneous action and turn into a more organized movement. People saw this: if we believe in something and struggle for it, we can encourage others to join us and we can change it. In my opinion, people gained confidence thanks to Gezi resistance. A life completely based on solidarity and sharing was created, and it has been seen that it is possible. We have not been able to adapt to our normal lives since we were evacuated from there. Now we are calling each other all the time, and we want to be together.

Seda: Here is just like a therapy group. Time passes, energy decreases, people calm down. I think the group will disperse gradually and there won’t be any results. People outside should be included as well. The people here already have a new perspective and they are already open to new ideas.

Duygu: I came back to Turkey one and a half year ago, and I wanted to go back as soon as possible. However, now I do not want to leave my country.


Fatma, 24, nurse

Is this just a beginning as it is said in the slogan?
It is the public movement that will overthrow the government and fascism. We saw this in our books and in articles. Gezi Park resistance went beyond all the political parties and opinions. It brought together the parties that would never come together. We have actually seen that we were one fist. We understood living together and commonly, we understood the human concept. Gezi Park showed us the fact that unsparing relationships are possible and there are lots of nice and good things.

Do you have any friends who have been opened an investigation?
Dean’s office dismissed one of our friends who was a doctor working in the university hospital. The reason was his taking part in Gezi Park resistance, and he hadn’t concealed this. As you know, some rectors work in collaboration with AKP. There was a dean supporting the government, thinking only about his position, and who had become prominent with his identity as an intellectual rent in that university. It is not only about having a job any more, we all know that. We are already struggling against the demolition of 657 (the law about public officers), the privatization of public hospitals. We will claim our rights through legal means.

What do you think about the forums?
As medical workers, we discussed about the issue in Yoğurtçu Park. Now we are talking about the patient rights; the rights of the employees haven’t been the main topic of conversations yet. We talked about the issues such as ‘How is a better hospital possible?’, ‘Should private hospitals remain or not?’. The discussions were more strategic and need-oriented. The forums were crowded as it is here. There were lawyers as well. Trade associations carry on with the discussions within themselves. They were aware of the fact that people should meet each other. They were acting in this respect. It is nice to see that people hasn’t given up.

Erdem Şimşek / Caner Taşpınar
03 July 2013
Source: yurtgazetesi.com.tr

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