Turkish Protesters’ Park-Forums

Turkish protesters, having discovered the power of their words have been gathering in parks across the country, to talk about their problems, possible solutions and methods to achieve them, how they will react to injustice and unfairness and they reach a unanimous agreement that all will be handled non-violently, through peaceful means. The park forums have been generating millions of ideas, all topics that were considered to be taboos of society now come out to moon-light every evening, and bringing them to people’s agenda gives hope for the future of Turkish resistance.

People no longer lock themselves indoors, no longer lone-time across TV, they do not take their family to a chain-café in a mall. The society in general discovered the freshness and beauty of parks once again and millions head to parks with their food, drinks, and snacks every evening after work; they share a cup of tea and their words. The agenda is set by the people and for the people. They mostly tend to focus on political and social problems in the forum, yet the day will come to more optimistic topics and acceleration of production of culture.

Being part of history in the making, the people realize such a movement has never come into being before in this geography, and they are pure strangers to this kind of assembly en mass. This comes with many consequences though. For some it is a forum of peace and acceptance, and for others who come into contact with people they had hated for long decades and have hardships trying to overcome their prejudices. I would like to believe that this will all lead to establishment of a social political culture that is much more accepting and inclusive than any others before.

When the police attacks are calmer now in general, with a few cities left where police attacks protesters and parks (especially in Ankara), in other places there are occasional instances where hate comes to stage and becomes obvious for a short moment. The more important perspective to look at this is to consider such unwelcoming messages as an opportunity to prove why separating this huge solidarity is wrong. It is a mere chance for the sane people to come forward and answer the suspicion of those people who were conditioned to hate one another for decades and were subject to mainstream media’s biased coverage all along.

When matters of justice are being brought into agenda on a daily basis, there is great unrest seeing the news of 4 military officials being released without punishment although they had raped a 13 year old girl, and on the other hand a child could be given 92 years imprisonment for supporting protests in Mersin. As an update on the news of the last week; across the country there were 884 people detained, 24 of them arrested, 860 released, 16 in legal medicine center, 42 kids detained, 6 people still missing in detention. Although some media sources started reflecting the news from a slightly more objective point of view, as 70% of media bosses are related to someone in the government it is hard to expect them to have unbiased coverage; thus there are many TV shows and newspaper articles still propagating against the protesters and try to instigate violence against them. The propaganda also blooms violence from pro-government supporters as they now started forming local communities, wear monotype clothing and attack park forums with knives and clubs.

This social reconciliation does not have the luxury to fail; it is not an easy task for anyone yet it has to reserve the spirit of siblinghood in society. After all it is the one chance people have in order to initiate a general cultural reform to catch up with the post-modern world. However, were this civil movement somehow to fail, then we will have to be referring to George Orwell’s closing remarks rather than Glen Miller’s “The Chestnut Tree” and cite from the novel 1984 rather than a love poem:

Under the spreading chestnut tree, I sold you and you sold me –1984

This entry was posted in Environment, Europeanization, Protests, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink.

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