Resist Istanbul: Or how I got teargassed again and started losing hope that this government will ever stop the violence

Deniz Erkmen

Here we go: I have been attacked; yet again, tear-gassed brutally by my own government. By my government, which is supposed to protect me. By my government which is supposed to work for me. By police officers whose salaries, armors, batons and ammunition is paid by my friends’, by our families’, and by my taxes.

Make no mistake. We were not exactly protesting when the police started attacking us. Not that it is illegal to protest democratically in Turkey – though you would be hard pressed to believe that seeing how we are treated. We were just a lot of people standing together at the Taksim Square. We were not even chanting. I was talking to two friends standing next to me; an architect and a historian. The square was full with people arriving after work. We were in a good mood; worried, as there have been continuous police interventions during the day after police moved in onto the square, claiming they wanted to take some banners down; but with friends, running into people we know, just chatting; debating if we should move into the park where more friends were hanging out.

That’s when the gas canisters appeared, without any warning, like comets in the sky. I saw the white cloud afar on the other side of the square; I saw some commotion. But by now, we, the protestors of Turkey, are very much familiar with this particular sight and sound; tear gas canisters being fired – so I didn’t start moving immediately.


Deniz Erkmen

When There Is No Other Way But Resistance! - A Personal Account Of The Early Days Of #Occupygezi

Tarihinde Yayımlandı: This is a piece -her personal story- written by my dear friend Deniz Erkmen on the recent Social Protest Movement (Occupy Gezi). If you are still curious about what is happenning in Istanbul (well by now it is whole Turkey) please keep reading! Thank you so much for your support!

At home in Istanbul, grading student papers while trying to follow a continuous facebook updates of events, I am getting more and more anxious to leave. It is impossible to concentrate. I read few lines from the paper, stop and think “do I have vinegar at home”?

I read a few more lines, stop and wonder “does the pharmacy sell gas masks?” Not able to sit any longer, I call, text and facebook message a few friends; a marine biologist first, a graduate student in history second, then a film director and an environmental engineer… Everyone is planning to head to the Taksim square. I pack some vinegar and a bandanna into my backpack; I make sure I wear sneakers so I can run fast and I leave home not quite sure what is ahead of me.

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