A View from Within

A fight starts for many reasons. Sometimes such reason can be resolved in a few minutes, but in some cases a fight can take huge dimensions with a lot of characters involved with the same objective: a fight for rights.

In Turkey such fight has been going on for several months, but it was in May that it really started and most of the protests took place around this date. Most of the reasons are about preservation of some places in Istanbul, such as Gezi Park, and the right to freedom of speech without the harassment of authorities. Also, the constructions of a third bridge and a third airport are also complaints of the protesters, in which such would provide less groves to be seen by satellites. Having said that, how is the perspective of a random student about such protests? Approval or disapproval? The following article will show this vision concentrating on the Turkish fight for rights and freedom of speech by way of interview.

The student in question is named Burak Mermi, a 21-year-old student of Publicity at Yeditepe University. He lives in the Asian side of Istanbul at Kadiköy, where he lived his whole life. The interview was made via skype, with pre-determined questions, and questions that developed into new ones.


Burak Mermi

What is your position in relation to the demands?

I agree with all the demands, especially with the preservation of Gezi Park, which is a landmark of Istanbul. They want to turn the place into a dictatorship, but we won’t even let them start. They try to invade private life of people, with one of the ideas that women should have a minimum of three children. What good can come from that kind of government?

How did you end up knowing about the protests?

Only in social media, because all other media were showing little or nothing at all, just to protect the image of the city. That is why most of the protesters are young and students who are the demographic interested in that kind of media. CNN and NTV are good examples of biased media, who mostly only have interest in protecting the government’s image.

How was your involvement in the protests?

I went to the protests and prepared barricades to help against the police with some friends, but it was not of much help because they threw tear gas near us and we needed to disperse to protect ourselves. Me and my friends ran really fast without looking back, seeing that there is no way not to fear the police. Later we saw in the news that some were not as fast as us.

Do you have a lot of people you know involved? Friends or relatives?

Not that much, and I also don’t try so hard to convince them, because that kind of thing must come from within each person. It won’t make much of a difference if you just go because of influence. If you just go to take a picture and post it on Facebook and walk for fifteen minutes to then go home, you are better at your couch watching CNN.

Is there any other way to improve the rights of people instead of protesting?

Actually I don’t think there is another or better way to do it. What each one of us need to is keep going on and not forget about what we are fighting for. They can throw a bone at us and think that we will forget about the demands, but is our job not to, and to especially make them always remember what we are claiming for, so that the demands can be done.

The protests in Turkey influenced Brazil to start going out to the streets also. What kind of advice would you give out to them?

Mostly the same thing from the last answer(laughs), but also that if you are participating don’t ever go for violence, or you will end up giving them reason to do what they are doing.

I thanked Burak for his attention and he also did thanked me, saying also that he knows more or less about the situation in Brazil, mostly the corruption that occurs from time to time. He told me that if we ‘’nag’’ as much and as long as we can they would soon give up our rights. I thanked him once again.

Kim Gomes


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