Erdem Gunduz, the ‘Standing Man’, centre, shows the power in silence in Taksim Square Picture: AFP Source: AFP
Stephen: Turkish reader ‘Z’ again bravely steps out from behind the fear to show how silence is indeed empowering.
By ‘Z’ – June 19, 2013
You might remember my latest update was posted late on Sunday night (Turkish Time) saying that Facebook arrests have begun and that I was advised not to post anything opposing the government and delete all my past updates. And a large group of us have done just that (not posted).
I woke up on Monday morning feeling furious! I was so mad at myself because I gave into FEAR the night before; one thing I preach people not to do and convince them that it is just an illusion.
So at 6 AM in the morning I wanted to write this note on my wall. But I chose to wait.
Anger and fury are also part of fear and I pulled myself back from everything I witnessed through the screens of my TV, my laptop and friends. Then I had to accept that I am human, we all are and we are allowed to make mistakes, and then relief came.
So please let me back up a little and explain you the events that are happening in Turkey since Saturday. Some of you might be aware and some not. After negotiations with the Prime Minister, the protest groups relaxed a little seeing some small hope of peace and that they were actually preparing to scale down the protest in Gezi Park. So everyone was in a celebratory mood and this being the weekend, Gezi Park and Taksim square were packed with all kinds of people including elderly, children and tourists.
At around 8PM while there was a concert in the park, people were warned to empty it and within minutes the attack started.
Now I can tell you about the following 36-40 hours of torture this nation went through in detail and I contemplated long about posting one of the hundreds of footages of unarmed, peaceful people being beaten by groups of policemen, gassed grandparents, children losing their parents in mayhem, residents being gassed in their own homes, hotels, restaurants, chemists, hospitals and first aid centres being attacked and all sorts of violence you wouldn’t dream of. And I decided not to ruin your day just like it has been ruining our lives for the last 4 days. Please just know that we became a battered, bruised nation over the weekend both physically and psychologically.
Apparently, it was not only I who felt this way yesterday. There was a general strike but the participants and the organisers were very clever. They walked quietly and tried to avoid the police anyway they could, because no normal civil person could take one more bloody day.
The rest of the people stayed at home as much as their circumstances allowed. People tried to sleep, because the majority did not sleep for 2 days. And I kept on thinking how to write this note to everyone.
Then at around 6.30 in the evening a man came to Taksim square and he stood. He did not move for hours, did not talk, did not sing or dance, just stood in silence. And by 12 at night hundreds joined him in silence.
That gave me great hope, because one of my biggest worries was that after all the bloodshed experienced, whether the protesters would turn violent or not. Now I know they will not.
Since then, the people are standing silent in many towns and cities, especially at places that have significant meaning for them, for example where one of the protesters was shot dead in Ankara, or in front of the TV stations who don’t report what is going on in the country. And yes, some of them get arrested for just standing, they found a cover for it – standing in silence is ‘being psychologically violent’ towards the police! These Indigos know how to drive them crazy.
So while everyone in the country ‘stands-up’ one way or another, I will again ask your support. As usual any calming energy, light and love from all of you will be greatly appreciated. There is a lot of negativity to be cleared on these lands and we need all the help you can give us.
On the other hand there are some 3D things you can do to help us. Such as contacting your members of the parliament, congress people, NGOs such as Amnesty International, European Union Representatives, Media, alternative media and anyone you can think of to inform them of the atrocities, ask them to act accordingly and put the pressure on Turkish government.
This government is acting way beyond its powers given by the constitution. Today, it has been announced that 5000 people were injured during the protests and I know for a fact that number is much higher, majority of the wounded did not go to hospitals to avoid being arrested.
The number of people arrested was announced 450 and again we know that there are many missing people who were detained by the police and not heard from in the last 48 hours.
The official numbers are way off. Nothing the protesters do or say is against the constitution so there is no basis of the police violence towards them.
Again, it is completely against all the international treaties Turkey signed to use chemical weapons against anyone let alone your own people, but this is what happened over the weekend, we have many people with 2nd and 3rd degree acid burns.
The social media arrests are continuing and they are putting together an urgent law to regulate the internet and social media the way they want. Please share these truths with anyone you see fit. There are online petitions but they are all directed to the Turkish Government and by now we learned that they are deaf and blind to what is going on so I will not share the links here.
Thank you very much for all your help. And I promise I will never give into fear again!
Love to you all…
“Z” includes these two story links below: