Turkey’s uprising – The Dolmabahçe Reality

Over this weekend clashes between protesters and police in Turkey hit new high, or low depending on how you see things.  Protest that started over plans to turn a park, one of the last remaining public green spaces in the Istanbul, into a mall.  Now there are protest against the government in many cities around Turkey.  Accounts of 50,000 in Istanbul alone.

When I heard how this started I was perplexed.  Then it occurred to me what would happen if the mayor of NYC decided to sell Central park for development.  A million people would be there fighting it.
This has implication as travel advisories are issued by USA and UK while Syrian Government comments in support of the protesters.  It’s a situation to pay close attention to.

Out of Turkey comes this account of a protester on the receiving end of police actions.  4 people are reported to have lost their sight permanently in these actions.  Read it.  The source has it in English and Turkish.

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The Dolmabahçe Reality!

I WAS THERE…

Last night, the attempted massacre in Dolmabahçe has been written in the dark pages of Turkish History…
You know the road with the trees…On one side, there is the palace wall and on the other side there is the military wall…
There, where there are high walls on both sides and no way of escape they sprayed 50 thousand unarmed civilians with agent-orange…or whatever it is called…
This gas was not the pepper spray that we had gotten used to since Friday and had started to make love with…
I saw someone puking her lung.
I saw someone crawling in the middle of all the smoke and water and raise his only functional arm stop to the Robocop aiming at him.
I saw old people and young people crawling and crying in tears for “Lemoooon! Medicineee!”
I saw people with bloody hands tearing out the sidewalks and trying to build barricade so that the howling and water-blowing siege tanks wouldn’t pass through and run over people…and all this done within minutes collaboratively…A huge barricade was built by people who were coughing and puking as their tears were dropping on the pavement stones they were ripping off the ground…
This did not stop the monster…
We ate the water and we ate the gas…
And that’s when I realized: water combined with that gas is a perfect recipe for torture…
I burned and broiled…as if I was in an oven…
People could not touch each other for help…
I ran up and away with hundreds of them by Swiss hotel…
I could barely see down to the foggy street we left behind. Smoke seemed yellow where the siege tank was moving up towards the stadium still throwing water on ten-thousands of people…
I saw 10-15 Robocops hiding behind the siege tank and shooting gas non-stop…and shooting with aim…
You know Spielberg’s “War of The Worlds” ?
In the movie, there was this huge alien ship attacking people who were trying to go to the ferries at the harbor from behind …attacking to destroy…that is exactly how sci-fi the whole thing was…
The sounds of the siege tanks roaring together…the non-stop sounds of gas weapons…and the a unified scream of thousands of people that made these other sounds sound like a whizz…then screams of pain drifting away…
Nobody could take any pictures or footage…When it is a matter of life or death facebook or twitter is not a priority…
Then I lost sight…I experienced a painful blindness that lasted for about an hour…I squeezed lemon in my eyes just to be able to see again…
Don’t do that…it is terrible…
I turned into a scrap… I was of no use anymore.
I walked through the scared faces in Akaretler Hill. People who had heard about the atrocity down in Besiktas and had built barricades. They poured milk in our palms and sprayed our faces with talcid [antacid] mix as this offered temporary relief as we walked up the hill. Holding on to the sidewalks for support, I made it to Nisantasi…
I was lucky…dislocated arms…broken legs…bleeding heads…people taking off and ripping their T-shirts that were wet and exposed to gas at the same time so they were getting skin burns…
I came home…I gained my sight back…I got into the shower…I wish I hadn’t.
My body smoked…gas…my eyes and my lungs quit on me again…and I was roasting…
I am in my bed again and I am still burning…I have to take another shower but I am scared…what if I smoke again…İts like we are walking gas shells…
Last night, Dolmabahçe was the most special moment of my life. It is now a medal to carry in my heart.

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