2 Haziran 2013 Pazar


TÜRKÇE (For English text please scroll down.)

Aşağıda  "Gezi Parkı" direnişini gerçekleştiren milleti gösteren bir videoklip. Montaj ve yükleme yeni bitti, yanına koyacağım yazıyı yazmaktayım!

Bu olayların nasıl sonuçlanacağına bağlı olarak ülkem kurtulacak ya da hepten mahvolacak.

Sam Amca, bu "Ilımlı İslam" planın ciddi salakça bir fikirdi, vazgeç artık!
Afternoon in Istanbul, June 1st, 2013.
(Images from my own camera.)
İstanbul'da bir öğleden sonra, 1 Haziran 2013.
(Görüntüler kendi objektifimden.) 

The footnote links do not work; you will have to scroll down to to the footnotes for expanded information. Opening the blogsite on two seperate windows and keeping one on the footnotes will make it easier to go back and forth. Sorry for the inconvenience, I'm no expert!.

Other links should work.

In another week, Turkey will be a different country. Either the uprising will culminate with the Turkish people overthrowing the AKP regime, the “moderate Islam” choice of US/Global interests, or Prime Minister Erdoğan will prevail and will wreak slow and sneaky revenge that has been its style from the beginning! The massive Republic rallys at the beginning of the AKP era were massive, optimistic, peaceful, and ultimately ineffectual, and in the ensuing years the organizers found themselves entangled in the Ergenekon conspiracy allegations, still plodding on![1]

I started this blog in frustration on May 3rd, 2012[2], feeling I had to do something but not knowing what! The approaching May 19th national holiday- suspended by the AKP government- was a strong prompter![3]

This blog has slowly turned into a kind of full-time self-assigned job; I can’t write fast on a keyboard, I do a lot of research to be able to stick to the facts as much as possible, and I make a point of writing an English version of each article- though some few lack Turkish versions.[4] I was always annoyed that so many people seemed so apathetic; I said to myself it was because they were all adults, attuned to the “sophisticated” detached realism of grown-up films and literature where evil can triumph, and often does! I am an animator, I spent my life watching, enjoying, and working on films where good always triumphs over evil. We have been witnessing the flagrant injustices of the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer conspiracy allegations,[5] the attack on the minds of our children through an increasingly fundamentalist educational system, the enslaving of our women through the opiate of religion, the bullying style of Prime Minister Erdoğan whose every statement seems designed to anger and infuriate- and he is always making those statements, so you can’t ignore them- for ten frustrating years. 

An image that will stay: crowd crossing the Bosphorus on foot, over the massive suspension bridge, from the Asian to the European side, to support demonstrators at Taksim square.
(Image from the media.)
I can’t pretend to understand how the AKP/Gülen brand of Muslims can see it in their consciences to accept what their oh very pious AKP has been doing to their fellow citizens and their country, but I believe in the world of animated film: good triumphs, bad guys get what is coming to them. And one thing I picked up from the Walt Disney animated features (which I like, and recommend all adults): bad guys bring about their own undoing; it is in their nature.

Now Prime Minister Erdoğan, before the spectacle of this tremendous uprising of a nation that is shouting “ENOUGH ALREADY” (Ça Ira, as the French said in 1789) and instead of taking a step back, brazenly declares that the police will stay at Taksim, that he will go ahead with the reconstruction of the Artillery Barracks, court order or no court order[6], and not only that, he will knock down the Atatürk Cultural Center, and a mosque would be built on the square.[7] He added spice to the statement with the words: “we are not going to ask for permission from a couple of marauders at Taksim”.

The immediate response of the brave "marauders" at Taksim Square was to climb to the roof of the Cultural Center and unfurl a banner: Boyun Eğme (“Do Not Bow Your Head”).

The "couple of marauders" on the roof of the dormant Atatürk Cultural Center, closed for "renovations" by the AKP since 2008, and now targeted again by Prime Minister Erdoğan.
(Image from the media.)

All the while I am writing this, terrible images of conflicts between demonstrators and police, sometimes barely visible through the clouds of gas, are beamed into our home through the Ulusal and Halk channels- the only two that are giving a continuous coverage of the events.[8] Incredibly brave people, some so young and some so old it breaks your heart, are risking their all for this country’s future. The resistance at Taksim Square has spread all over the city, all over the country, with the new slogan “Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance” clearly illustrating the situation. 

Another special symbol of the new awakening has been the clanging of pots and pans: when the first clashes occured between demonstrators and the police, people in surrounding apartments rushed to their windows and expressed their support for the resistance by clanging together whatever kitchen utensils they could find. Then some people took to taking them everywhere, reminding me once again of the “we are here” sequence of Horton Hears a Who.[9] 

Gentle treatment by the police in Izmir, yesterday.
(Image from the media.)

Beşiktaş area in Istanbul, at the time of writing.
(Image from the media.)

Ankara; but "Everywhere is Taksim, everywhere is resistance!"
(Image from the media.)

Prime Minister Erdoğan, his collaborators in the government, and his spineless press have always tried to downplay the voices raised against them, and Erdoğan at least seems none the wiser. (I haven’t seen the rest of the gang for a while, not that I miss them!)[10]

Have you ever seen Disney’s Tarzan? I worked on that production in 1997-8, an especially inspiring and fulfilling period of my life.

Towards the end the villain Clayton is having a fight to the finish with Tarzan, hanging from vines up between the branches of huge jungle trees. Clayton lashes out furiously with his machette, cutting away the dangling vines while inadvertently getting tangled in them. Vines slip around his neck even as he slashes through the the strands supporting him, but he is too enraged to notice.

Tarzan, though engaged in a desperate fight, is inherently good, and tries to warn his opponent; “Clayton, no!” he says, but it is too late. The last supporting strand is cut asunder, Clayton plunges from the trees, his neck still tangled, and strangles himself!
Clayton's self inflicted death-plunge: they always go too far!
It has just been announced that Prime Minister Erdoğan will be leaving for state visits to Tunis, Algeria and Morocco- there had been talk of it before but it is still extraordinary that a  head of government would be going abroad in a state of emergency. Return is planned for Thursday. Perhaps he won't come back?
Uncle Sam, your "Moderate Islam" nonsense was a really idiotic plan! Give it up! 

[1] The most spectacular was the monster rally at Çağlayan, Istanbul, in April 29th, 2007. It was an attempt to keep the AKP of bringing its candidate, Abdullah Gül, to the Presidency. See Footnote 1 of  “Reacting to the Sledgehammer Verdicts”,  26 Septembetr- Eylül 2012. 

[2] See “Starters”, 3 Mayıs-May, 2012.

[4] I gave three articles by Cem (James) Ryan without tranlating them into Turkish. See "Cem Ryan to Obama”, 16 July-Temmuz 2012. Everything else is in two versions, including yet another Cem Ryan article: “Cem Ryan on May 19th”,  June 29th, 2012.

[5] Most of this blog  has been concerned with the Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) plot allegations. Here are a few articles: For Ergenekon see “The Flag and the Ribbon”, 30 May-Mayıs 2012, “Faded Glory”, 28 October- Ekim 2012, “Silivri”, 18 December-Aralık 2012, “Being aHero”, 17 January- Ocak 2013, “Silivri, 18-02-2013”, 25 February –Şubat 2013, “The Dardanelles Broken Through”, 19 March- Mart 2012,  “To Silivri Again”, 29 March- Mart 2013,  and “Provocation:Silivri, April 8th”, 13 April-Nisan 2013, for the “Sledghammer” see: “TheSledgehammer”, 6 September-Eylül 2013, “’Sledgehammer’ Verdicts”, 22 September- Eylül 2012, “Reacting to the ‘Sledgehammer’ Verdicts”,  26 September-Eylül 2012,  “Now It’s Our Shift”, 6 November-Kasım 2012, “Hammering the Sledgehammer”, 5 February- Şubat 2013, “Makes You Want to Scream”, 12 February-Şubat 2013, and “Devouring his OwnChildren”, 19 February- Şubat 2013, for “February 28th” see “A Turban by AnyOther Name”, 16 July- Temmuz 2012, and “Ataturk Out of Time”,  2 March- Mart 2013.

[6] The decision of the “6th Administrative Court” of  May 31st, 2013 , halting the project .

[7] I made a reminder of  the dormant Atatürk Cultural Center in my article yesterday and Prime Minister Erdoğan did not delay to declare his plans concerning it. He made this statement today at the opening of  the service building of  the Ottoman archives. In all objectivity, he did say the old building would be replaced by a new Opera and Culture house, but:
a- The AKP governmet closed the Ataturk Cultural Center  in June 2008, ostensibly for renovaions to be carried out in anticipation of 2010, when Istanbul was slated to be “Culture Capital of Europe” In the meantime 2010 has come and gone, the Cultural Center has stayed untouched.
b- New regulations proposed by the government dismantle the State Opera and Ballet, an institution founded by Ataturk, providing high quality performances at affordable prices to the citizens. Rather than closing it down outright,  the new regulations are meant to dissolve the venerable institution in a web of beaurocracy. All artistic activity will be attached to an 11 member “State Council of Turkey” (Türkiye Sanat Kurulu). The staff and artists will be attached to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, elder staffers will be encourged to tak retirement. The same applies to the State Theatres.
In view of these facts, Prime Minister Erdoğan’s good intentions regarding the future of opera and ballet in Turkey are highly suspect.
c- Most dangerously, by bringing up the idea of a mosque, he implies that the demonstratos are opposing the construction of a mosque, pointing to them as an open target to reactionary rabbles.

[8] Most other channels are keeping to regular programming. I just wish these two heroic channels acknowledge each other more, and not drop so many hints about being being the only one.

[9] I already made this analogy in “What I saw on Republic Day”, 1 November-Kasım 2012.

[10] Turkey is deteriorating into the pandemonium that I feared years ago. To see my newyear message for the year 2012, click here.

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