Who We Are & What We’re Doing!
We are a group of people with a shared understanding of the refugee situation in Turkey and abroad. Between us we are involved in a variety of social justice work, including refugee rights and support. We decided to act on our ideas; to put solidarity into practice.. but we need your support to make it happen!
We are creating a flexible space that can meet the desires and needs of the people using it. This means that it can be a space for women to meet one day and can be a workshop for learning first aid or simply an evening meal on another. The space will not be issue-specific, meaning that if (somehow!) the situation of refugees in Izmir dramatically improves, the space will still be able to function as a healthy and vital place in Izmir. It is ultimately a community space by and for whoever uses it, with particular attention to refugees. Continue reading
Video and Excerpts from Sina July 8
Autnomous Uyghur Region, Turkestan
“Surveillance video showing rioters with machetes attacking a local police station on June 26 in Shanshan county of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region was released Saturday.
Reports stated that 24 people, of which 16 were ethnic Uyghurs and eight were Han, were killed. The attacks also left 21 others injured.”
June 26th, Uyghur Autonomous region
watch video here
[BAI Note] The clashes in “Turkestan” have been going on for decades as the Muslim Uyghur population has been in a decolonial struggle against the Chinese state and the Han Chinese. The Hans have been flooding and settling the region which is often called “Xinjiang,” which means “New Frontier” or “New Colony,” by the Chinese state and global mainstream media. The security forces in the region are Han Chinese as well and any act against the settlers is considered an act against the state. Since 9/11, the Chinese government has taken to calling the Uyghur rebels “insurgents” and the uprisings acts of “terror.” The Muslim Uyghur community, now an ethnic minority group in the region, has also been banned by the Chinese state from observing Ramadan. Other Muslim activities such as visits to the masjid (mosques) have also been curbed. Continue reading
Posted from Insanlik Hali 17 June 2013
A cop drawn in Gezi. From Insanlik Hali.
Good morning Neighbor,
I say good morning, but I am writing this to you at the break of dawn, after a night of no sleep. You know me, we’ve been living in the same building for years. I am the quite one, without many visitors. I go to bed early and wake up before morning prayer. But last night I didn’t sleep a wink. You slept instead of me dear neighbor. I know you did because I was out on the balcony so many times, banging pots and pans. My husband was turning the lights on and off. We tried everything to get your attention.
But you kept on sleeping, neighbor.
While we sat with our hands on the door knob, our hearts racing at top speed, our eyes sore, you slept. I am not angry with you. If I had relied on that box called ‘television’ to be informed about what’s going on in the world, in my country or even on the next street, I would also go to bed and sleep peacefully after the evening news.
After all, what have they said on TV? Gezi Park has been evacuated. And it was done with utter ease. Without causing any harm. “Our people started leaving the park on time, due to the announcements made half an hour in advance. The marginal, illegal terrorist groups who stayed behind were treated with tear gas and water cannons.” On top of it our Mayor has made a speech, explaining that no harm was done to the people and children. That Gezi Park was evacuated and the public workers were taking down the tents. We should be at peace. This story has come to an end.
Yotam Ronen/Al Jazeera: The Ankara-based Human Rights Association says up to 1,000 people have been injured in protests.
Following up from Clarity Within the Smoke: Thoughts From Inside Turkey’s Uprising, a candid look into the situation is Istanbul, Bay Area Intifada (BAI) sought out those in Ankara after a brutal attack by police on live TV. Melih, a 24-year old protestor on the ground in Ankara found us instead.
These brief conversations took place between June 6 -9 (Turkey Dates). The first dispatch will be the most recent. After that all correspondence is presented in chronological order starting with the first communication between Melih & BAI:
The flag and banner of “Anti-capitalist Muslims,” an organization that overlaps with “Revolutionary Muslims.”
This translation was completed by and posted by Mashallah News contributor Josef Burton.
On Sunday June 2, the anti-capitalist Islamic group “Revolutionary Muslims” [Devrimci Müslümanlar] posted this open letter to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on their Facebook page. “Revolutionary Muslims” were among the first groups to occupy Gezi Park in protest against its destruction. The letter is written by Islamic intellectual and author Recep Kaya.
An open letter to Tayyip from a Believer:
I’m not going to open my writing with “Mr.” or “my prime minister,” you realize, because I wanted to specify what could be counted as being on your side and what no longer remains on your side.
Revolutionary/Anti-capitalist Muslims can be seen at this demonstration in Gezi Park
I am knowing you ever since the Welfare Party period, with several members of my family in those times being active in the National Youth Foundation, who then have proceeded to supporting the AK Party- fundamentally coming from a place of working to express your vision and mission. The, in your parlance “Pure Youth”…let them eat that youth! Continue reading
From: OccupyGezi, Square Assembly:
Calling on all cities of the world! Come out this weekend and reclaim your public spaces to show solidarity with #OccupyGezi and the many waves of protests in Turkey!
What began as a small occupation to protect Istanbul’s Gezi Park erupted within a matter of days into massive protests that spread like wildfire across Turkey. A key trigger was the disproportionate use of force by the police. Just as Gezi Park crystallized the struggle over an ever-shrinking public space hijacked by neoliberal authoritarianism, the pepper gas that security forces doused on Istanbul literalized the general need for breathing space – hundreds of thousands of people walked out onto the streets in support of the Gezi Park occupation despite a total media blackout, defying police brutality. Now we have reclaimed not only Gezi Park but also Taksim Square, the very heart of Turkey’s public sphere, where mass expressions of discontent have repeatedly been banned, throughout the republic’s history. As Taksim and Gezi swell every night with thousands of people who come to celebrate their solidarity, victory and power, our resistance in other parts of Istanbul and other cities across Turkey continues. Of one thing we are certain: Nothing will ever be the same again. Continue reading
“Mom, are these police human?”
The following is an almost word for word interview with three people engaged in the uprising in Istanbul: Nina, 34, is a teacher, dreamer and activist. Yaren, 30, is a leftist and atheist, but grew up Muslim. Mehmet, 34, is a left-leaning Islamist and father of two, currently an unemployed architect. While the three were holed up in a French school, seeking refuge from attacks of riot police, red clouds of tear gas and ceaseless fatigue, they sketched out for us a multifaceted political horizon: the violence of the state, the actors in the streets, requests for global solidarity, the ridiculous rumors, their concerns on where things will go, and the role of Islam. By no means will this conversation answer everyone’s questions, but it will offer a candid and brutally honest look into the Turkish uprising. Continue reading
REUTERS/Murad Sezer A protester in Turkey braves tear gas.
Update as of 6 am (PST)
Due to a media blackout, the following updates are hard to confirm, but come directly from comrades on the ground in an undisclosed major city.
Vicious attacks from state security
- Police chased protesters towards military barracks. The military opened their gates to allow protesters in and pointed their guns at the police. No shots were reported to have been fired.
Four people are said to have died so far. Other reports from the ground say this is not at all confirmed.
Internet and satellite services are scheduled to be be shut down by the State. Mobile communications were down the entire day yesterday, as well as throughout the night.
Anyone seen filming (with exception of mainstream media) targeted with violence by police.
Street lighting shutdown.
Helicopters are shooting plastic bullets indiscriminately into crowds of protestors and pedestrians.
The massive amounts of tear gas being used has caused many injuries and is said to be the biggest obstacle.
From a source on the ground, the numbers of injuries are in the thousands. Continue reading