After several weeks of peaceful protest, yoga demonstrations, dancing and community gathering in Gezi Square, with efforts to prevent the tearing down of a beautiful park full of trees over the building of yet another mall, protesters were bombarded last night with an awful storm of tear gas, water canisters and plastic bullets. What does a people have to do to be heard by their government? Is there no peace for the peaceful in Taksim Square- Istanbul, Turkey?
This morning hundreds of lawyers gathered at the entrance of Istanbul’s main palace on behalf of the protesters. In a statement to the crowd, Istanbul Bar Association Chairman Umit Kocasakal declared: “The police are intervening in an illegal way against citizens exercising their constitutional and democratic rights to protest.“
Prime Minister Erdogan is not receiving praise from any direction at this point. The United States has expressed concern and encourages the government there to engage in peaceful communication with the people. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle agrees “We expect Prime Minister Erdogan to de-escalate the situation, in the spirit of European values, and to seek a constructive exchange and peaceful dialogue.” The Prime Minister apparently does not agree and is accusing the world and media of trying to undermine his country and economy “the only largely Muslim NATO state.”
What do you think?
At least 620 people were injured during today’s attacks including a one year old baby, several are in critical condition and at least one more person lost an eye. Prime Minister Erdogan has been quoted this past Tuesday, saying of the protesters: “Not only will we end the actions, we will be at the necks of the provocateurs and terrorists, and no one will get away with it.” Is there no peace for the peaceful in Taksim square?
The Guardian out of the United Kingdom received shocking amateur video of this morning’s events which can be seen on their site:.
Beyond the need for the U.S. to maintain Turkey as an ally, as it borders Iran, Iraq and Syria, the United States desperately needs to hear the cries of the people of Turkey and their message to the government there. We are not a far cry too removed from the incidences in Taksim Square. Our nation is not beyond seeing this very thing happen on our soil over the commercial take overs and freedom snatching laws being passed here. Let us all take a lesson from our brothers and sisters in Turkey no matter where we stand in this country or in this world. The people are rising up, ready to speak for what is rightfully theirs. Commercialism is not the ruling faction, though it seems to be in this period of time, if we allow it.
In Istanbul, Turkey the question must be raised ‘Is there no peace for the peaceful?’ Will the efforts of a people just wanting to be heard and express themselves equally and rightfully succeed? Where will this all go? What follows the unrest? Who’s voice will ring out in the end? More importantly, is there really ever an end to such madness? What we can all do now is turn our attention from despair and madness at what is occurring in Taksim Square and begin to radiate love and trust that all can resolve peacefully, and become the strong peaceful warriors Turkey citizens need us to be, where ever we are. As we can envision it, so it has the potential to be.
Written by: Stasia Bliss
Sources: ABC News; World News Australia; The Star Online;