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Bedri Baykam

THE GOVERNMENT STILL DOESN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT’S GOING ON!!!

04.06.2013

We are experiencing one of the largest and most rapturous grassroots movements in the history of Turkey. There is not only the civil society and young people on the streets. Aunts, high school students, rockers, the unemployed and workers, everyone is gathered in the town squares to scream the place down shouting “Tayyip Resign!”. The people, with the last straw, broke the chains as if prompting big time these lines from the National Anthem: “I have been free since the beginning and forever shall be so. What insane man could put me in chains! I defy the very idea!” Images and clips from the streets make the headlines worldwide... 
            What would you expect? At least for the government officials to ask themselves “For god's sake, where did we go wrong, where did we overstep the limit?”. Right? Wishful thinking! On the contrary! On the television, the Prime Minister, in the face of probably one of history's greatest media “servile flatterers”  got on his high horse and got carried away in his braggadocio: “I will not be deterred by a hand-full of plunderers. We will build the Artillery barracks (at Gezi), we will demolish Atatürk Cultural Center (AKM), we will build a mosque in Taksim”. Then of course there is a known flock who assert: “Pardon! So what, we plant more trees than we uproot.”
           So, it is necessary to remind Mr. Prime Minister of his “ideological practices”: Aren’t you the ones who by force and without necessity turned high schools into religious vocational high schools; banned the celebration of May 19th - the commemoration of Atatürk youth and sports day and April 23rd - the national sovereignty and children's day, and disregarded these historic days; supported the unlawful and the illogical carrying on of Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) cases; tried to destroy the T.C. (Republic of Turkey) inscriptions; pursue the destruction of statues and censored  theaters; made unspeakable remarks against Alawite and tried inconsequentially to impose bans on alcohol, and dared to insinuate Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and İsmet İnönü were “two drunks” who lifted the ban on prohibition of alcoholic beverages way back in 1926... We are aware that these are just a small portion of your "performance", you are much more diligent! Also, your words, “If we wanted to, we could too get 50% of Turkey hit the streets” are unfortunate! Let us forget that you ever said this and pretend we never heard it. Because that would unfortunately mean a call for a civil war. On the contrary, people on the street are pursuing peace and freedom and not strife or clashes.

             For these reasons “a hand-full of plunderers” using the words of Erdoğan, arein the streets! I wanted to make this clear, if there are still AKP (Justice and Development Party) members who do not understand! And the police who seems to have memorized fascist methods from beginning to end, in an incomprehensible violence attack the people of Turkey who pay their salary! We do not of course watch these acts on the TV channels which the people have already dumped into the gutter! The terrible scenes are posted on the social networking sites: in Izmir, police regarding as an enemy, try to push the demonstrators into the sea with water cannons; in İstanbul and elsewhere throw gas bombs into private homes after breaking the windows; brutally beat people, at the end of which spectacles of bodies lying motionless that set one's teeth on the edge and of demonstrators drenched in blood... Fascist raids at CHP (Republican People's Party) Provincial Branch and Ankara University Faculty of Political Sciences Alumni Association (Mülkiyeliler Birliği)... Meanwhile, let’s give notably Halk TV, and Ulusal Kanal, Hayat Tv their due for their performance of taking on a mission as genuine broadcasters and enshrining themselves in our hearts. The mainstream media (ownership concentrated among few large private companies) not only flunked the test but also went down as a disgrace in the history of the Turkish press. While in their country the people were pursuing democratic revolution, they broadcasted programs on marriage or the life of penguins, and were thus recorded as gargoyles on the black pages...
               
Well done to AKP! They actually did a great job! United everyone, from the unemployed to employed; high school students to university students; bourgeoisie to civil servants, all parties and associations. The masses at resistance lines I have chatted with consist of the world's most diverse and most colorful people. Thank you! For years the public who kept saying "Atam izindeyiz" (Our founding father Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, we follow your footsteps. “İzindeyiz” also means “we’re on vacation”), is now back from vacation and no longer an absentee but at the wheel!

I have to admit that in the tension and chaos the country is undergoing, and there were moments that gave way to painful smiles: For example Bashar Assad’s statement: “I condemn Erdoğan for persecuting his people”. This is called what comes around goes around! There were also those who managed to add the event some humor: Group Çarşı’s (reknown supporter group of Beşiktaş soccer club) who confronted the police in Beşiktaş the second day of the resistance, calling 155 (Police hot-line) and saying “Hey, its noon. Aren’t you coming?” and adding “Do you have melon gas? Bring it along and we’ll open a bottle of Raki!” Later on seizing a backhoe loader and naming it “POMA” (Police Intervention Tool)! (İn opposition with TOMA, Crowd intervention tool) Meanwhile, what brought tears to my eyes were Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray fans (hard core rivals in soccer) entering Beşiktaş arm-in-arm shouting Beşiktaş fan slogan “Beşiktaş here we come to die with you”...
       
This is the movement of the people and not political parties. But of course, all the opposition parties should support the people's movement at all times. This is also the case with the trade unions. The Confederation of Public Workers' Unions (KESK) has decided to go on strike. Not sufficient! Confederation of Revolutionary Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK) too has to support this initiative and adopt an ultimate attitude against the government's unreasonably hardening rhetoric and actions. Unless these decisions are applied there can be no success.
I will now make some positive reminders: There is a vacation time ahead when we will not be able to go on vacation. Schools are on summer holiday, all the exams are almost over; and most importantly, there are no football matches, even the television serials (!) are on vacation! So Turkey has none other important work than this. The weather is also a nice... What more do you want? Now is the time for the people to discreetly raise their voices!