9 diciembre, 2013
DESPAIR IN TURKEY
By Furkan Yıldırım
“Where the people fear the government you have tyranny. Where the government fears the people you have liberty.”- Barnhill, John Basil
People have the power to change the fate of their country, change the ruling system or change the dictatorship system to democratic system. We all saw what people are capable of in “Arab Spring” or the demonstrations through Europe. But we will not talk about Arab Springs nor demonstrations through Europe, we will talk about youth movement in Turkey happened in June. As a Turkish citizen I was involved in that movement like lots of my friends did. We were tear gassed by police, beaten by police and harassed by police. And in the end, nothing may happened and everything returned same as they used to be but government learned an important lesson; when it comes to the corruption and injustice almost everyone become one in Turkey despite their ideological thinking and even their age.
It all started when government tried to demolish a park in the middle of Taksim, Istanbul and builds a shopping mall. That park is only green area in the Taksim, so when the government tries to demolish the park demonstrations started in almost every city in Turkey.
I have a special guest from Turkey to talk about demonstrations happened in Turkey. I thought good information about protest would only gathered from students from Turkey, because students were the main population who participated the protests. My guest is a resident in Istanbul and saw the protests first handed. She is 21 and almost eighty percent of the people who participated in protest are between 20 and 25 years old. We will talk about how protest changed the perception of government, what people think about ruling party of Turkey right now and the main reason of demonstrations are only because for the park or are there some other things behind of it.
My guest’s name is Gizem Yilmaz and she is studying at Istanbul Bilgi University. She is also involved in “Occupation of Gezi” and we will talk about how she got involved in and how she thinks about situation. We both have negative feelings for Turkey’s ruling party “Ak Party” but for this time we only going to talk about “Occupation of Gezi”. The interview made via Skype and with pre-determined questions. My first question was “How did you get involved with Occupation of Gezi“ and she answered with little bit regret and little pride because; she didn’t go any of the demonstrations instead she was responsible of social media missions. We can say that there were two divisions in the Gezi protests first; people who were doing demonstrations in the streets and the second people who were helping those people who doing demonstrations via social media. Gizem was in the second division, she helped people to get hospitals with sharing the nearest hospitals addresses, she shared the Wi-Fi passwords within the Taksim area so the people could get news and share what’s happening inside Taksim.
My second question was “Do you agree the way how government approach this whole situation?” Almost every person in Turkey even if they’re supporting government are don’t agree how government approach this situation and Gizem also thinks the same. She believes that government approaches the situation with very provocateur and un-respectful way. Because she argued that people who were there only tried to express their thoughts but government didn’t care about those who were there and tried to run over those people with brutal police force. She says that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan handled the crisis moment wrong and because of his mistake 6 people lost their lives because of police brutality.
My last question was do you believe anything has changed after “Gezi” protests. When she is answering this question you can easily see the glimpse of hope in her eyes. Because she believes that after the protests people have changed, they “woken up” and now they can see the truth. But there are still some government defenders and she says only lower classes and people who didn’t get enough education supports the government.
As we finishing the interview we are both happy for doing this kind of thing. She says “Show people what happened, show people our despair only then they can understand what we are going through”