|Written by Canan Sagar, ISL|
|Friday, 02 August 2013 06:47|
Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, insisted that the construction would continue “no matter what” against the aims of the uprising that was trying to stop the destruction of Gezi Park.
But the resistance continued – against the government repression from May to July.
Erdogan authorised police attacks against thousands of demonstrators who were protesting. But Gezi Park is not any park.
On May Day 1977, dozens of protesters were killed. In 2007, police detained nearly 600 after a rally demanded Erdogan’s resignation. And on May Day this year an anti-government protest was attacked by police following government attempts to ban it.
Youth and activists continued the fight for their right to occupy and to demonstrate.
The police responded with tear gas, plastic bullets and water cannon. They also used gas bombs made of chemical agents. There are claims that illegal chemical agents, such as orange gas that can cause permanent damage, have been used. Fascist groups also attacked demonstrators with the support of the police.
This time however Gezi park was not alone, protests swelled to 100,000s in many Turkish cities. Demonstrators defended themselves carrying goggles, gas masks and helmets and as the police brutally dispersed the crowds they developed numerous ways to re-organise.
The police killed five people. Ethem Sarisülük was shot dead with a bullet and although the police officer was arrested he was later released on the basis of self defence. Ali Ismail Korkmaz (19 years) who took part in the resistance in Eskisehir was violently beaten to death. A witness said Ali was beaten by civilian police officers and people with bats, mainly aiming at his head. It has been reported that only one person was detained after this incident even though street cameras show at least 5-6 people attacking him!
The law is protecting the killers and the government is hiding them! The mayor of Ankara accused the resisters of being Israeli agents! While Erdogan blamed foreign powers.
The resistance in Turkey has raised the awareness of large sections of the population. People across the country are resisting and standing up against Erdogan’s reactionary government and its policies.
Forms and forums of resistance
The government is dominated by corruption, it is attacking the public sector, cutting jobs and wages, and forcing through large scale privatisations. Turkish union confederations, DISK and KESK represent workers who are facing these attacks and called a national stoppage against the police repression of the protestors.
These unions represent 100,000s of workers and the stoppage affected schools, hospitals and public offices. Three other groups representing doctors, engineers and dentists also joined the action.
One of the biggest football fan groups Besiktas Çarsı joined the resistance. Çarsı first heard of the resistance through facebook and twitter and decided to march immediately with around 300 people, however that number had increased to 5,000 people by the time they got to Gezi Park.
As police cleared some of the parks, public forums (popular assemblies) started to take place in many other parks across Istanbul and other main cities. One of the forums called was at Abbasaga park. Abbasaga is in Besiktas, Istanbul. On the third day of the forum four thousand attended. Çarsı participated in the Abbasaga forum with around 1,000 supporters.
The forums are taking place in many parks and are bringing communities together.
Football fan groups, socialists, revolutionaries, workers, students, teachers and doctors all collaborate together for social and human rights and they occupied the streets and parks together.
Topics discussed in the forums included police violence and those injured and killed, how to organise the movement, the Kurdish question, LGBT (lesbian, bay, bi-sexual, trans-sexual) and ideas around the need for a new party. In June over 30 forums took place.
The governments’ predicament increases daily, and resisters now say that “Erdogan did not kick us out of Gezi he made everywhere Gezi Park”.
From the first day of the uprising in different cities in the country the comrades of RED (Turkish section of the IWL) and supporters were at the forefront of the barricades. In this exhausting process the comrades have been injured, poisoned with gases, beaten up, hit with water cannons but they did not step back, not even once.
In London militants of the International Socialist League intervened on a regular basis building solidarity with the struggle in Turkey and finding new friends.