11 Eylül 2013 Çarşamba



Tonight is the night of September 11th; don't expect us to pause and remember the tragedy of the World Trade Center; our minds are occupied with more immediate concerns, like an agressively arrogant and warmongering prime minister and his government. 

We live in Istanbul's Kadıköy district and only a short distance away demonstrators are clashing with the police for the second night in a row. We see the images from television- from Halk TV; the mainstream channels don't show any of this. We could take a walk and get to the heart of the action in a quarter of an hour but somehow I don't feel like risking life and limb just now. Tomorrow is our wedding anniversary, and I wan't to be alive for it. 

The most recent spate of protests started with the death of 22 year old Ahmet Atakan during anti-government demonstrations in Hatay-Armutlu . He is the sixth young person to have died in clashes with the police since the Promenade Park ("Gezi Parkı") uprising in June. (See: "Taksim Promenade Park", 31 May-Mayıs 2013, "Everywhere is Taksim", 2 June-Haziran 2013) A police commisar who fell from an overpass under construction on June 5th in Hatay was a further victim of what can only be described as an overbearing government's quest to drive the republic back into the middle ages, no matter what reservations anyone might have about the plan. I have written so much about the whys and hows of all this that I'm not in a mood to repeat myself. 

Ahmet Atakan, mortally wounded, September 9th 2013. He died in hospital. Eyewitnesses claim he received a gas cartridge on the head, and then hit by a police vehicle. The government claims he fell from a building while throwing stones at the police.
(Image from the media.)

Free-spirited and comparatively well-to-do Kadıköy was spared the gas and water treatment even during the hottest days of the Gezi protests- it was the host of the spectacular "Gas-Man" concert on July 7th, 2013. (See "Gas-Man", 8 July-Haziran 2013.) But since yesterday Kadıköy has stepped into the center stage. However the action is not confined to Kadıköy; similar scenes are beaming in from the Beşiktaş district, and othe localities in the country, particularly in parts of Ankara, and in Hatay. 

The clashes in Kadıköy are now right up there with the rest: I just heard of someone hit on the skull by a gas cartridge and hospitalized; the same thing reportedly happened yesterday and the victim has undergone operation and is under intensive care, situation critical. 

The sounds coming over the TV are frightening, nerve-wracking; shouts, tweeting police radios, the blast of guns firing gas cartridges and the clinks and clatter when they fall. We can expect the gas to waft here pretty soon, and there is no guarantee that the action won't reach our street- if not today, then sometime soon. There are barricades and bonfires. There are reports of a makeshift infirmary set up in the Süreyya Opera House- the little jewelbox that is the only opera house in Istanbul since the big one at Taksim Square was "closed for renovations" by the government back in 2008. (See "A Fine Audience" 7 March-Mart 2013.) People living in the vicinity are supporting the protesters right now  by clanging pots and pans from their windows, as they had done during the Gezi Park days. 

I am putting in two images I found on the net from last night- in order to provide images of what is going on right now, I would have to take my camera and go there myself, but this time round I'll gve it a miss. Between you and me, I'm so tired of all of this; a pox on whoever brought the curse of the AKP on our heads!

Demonstartors last night in Kadıköy, September 10th, 2013. The immediate reason for the demonstration was the death of 22 yearold Ahmet Atakan, who had been demonstrating in Hatay in support of the ODTÜ/METU (Ortadoğu Teknik Üniversitesi- "Middle East Technical University") students in Ankara who in turn had been demonstrating against a road being built thhrough their campus. In all, these are pretexts, occasions to take a stand against a regime that can no longer conceal its malevolence. You can readthrough all of this blog, and only learn a small part of the harm and hurt the AKP has brought to this country.
(Image from the media.)

Gas wafting into the Bahariye shopping street from the square, last nights, Set. 10th 2013..
(Image from the media.)

Kadıköy gassed up last night, July 10th 2013.
Today, the 11th, it was a lively shopping street again. Tonight, right now as I write this, it's back to conflict and violent clashes.
(Image from the media.)

I am addinng these on the morning of the 12th.

 Assembled crowd of protesters near Kadıköy's "Bull",  Kadıköy, İstanbul. I refer to "the Bull" in "Ergenekon Trials and Tribulations", 30 August 2013, and its origins in footnote 72 of that article.
(Image from the media.)

 Protesters holding images of the six youths falen since the beginning of the Gezi protests. From left to right they are:

Medeni Yıldırım
Abdullah Cömert
 Mehmet Ayvalıtaş
Ethem Sarısülük,
Ali İsmail Korkmaz, 
Ahmet Atakan 

(Medeni Yıldırım, first on the list was killed during a protest in Lice, in the southeast. That protest was against the construction of a new gendarmerie outpost- official sources say it was just repair work.. This would indicate Yıldırım was a Kurdish separatist- not in harmony with the mainstream of the Gezi protests. Indeed, his name and image does not figure as frequently as the others.  Police comissioner Mustafa Sarı who fell to his death while pursuing demonstrators is not included.)
 (Image from the media.)

The police.
(Image from the media.)

Burning barricades.
(Image from the media.)

City lights: Kadıköy by night.
(Image from the media.)

 Barricades on the shopping street: to the left, with a crowd of police flanking the entrance, the Süreyya opera house, used as a makeshift infirmary. Right across from Tchibo, where we had coffee during the day.
(Image from the media.)

Gas victim brought into the opera house.
(Image from the media.)

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