Istanbul Rising: VICE Explains the Turkish Protests (Video)

VICE: “On Friday, May 31, Turkish riot police fired tear gas and pepper spray into a peaceful protest held to save Gezi Park, one of the last green areas in central Istanbul. This set off the biggest civil uprising in the history of the Turkish Republic, calling for Prime Minister Erdogan’s resignation. The unrest has spread like wildfire to more than 60 cities where protests are still ongoing. We landed in Istanbul the day it all kicked off.”

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2 Responses

  1. – In recent days, the violence has been much worse in Ankara, a more conservative city, out of range of most of the TV cameras. Film from Adana shows people among the police throwing rocks at protesters.
    – AKP has been blaming an international conspiracy of “the interest rate lobby” which Kadri Gursel usefully translates as the “Chapul-Jews” thus serving up red meat to their base.
    – Yusuf Kanli reports that AKP, through the government treasury, offered released time to on-duty workers, overtime to those not on duty and a 100TL reimbursement per car for government workers to attend Erdogan’s Esenboga Airport rally.
    – HalkTV puckishly ran split-screen coverage: live view of Taksim on the left, on the right, over the tag “Esenboga” were frolicking penguins.
    – Gulserin Onanc, former deputy leader within CHP made some very good points in an interview appearing in English in Today’s Zaman.

  2. The scene, early in this piece, in which the reporter is forced by tear gas into an upper room was a powerful reminder of my experience observing one of many battles over the US military presence between riot police and Chonnam University students in Gwangju during the mid-90s. As I stood on the curb with the cops on my left and the students to my right, a tear gas canister landed at my feet. I retreated into a doorway, up a flight of stairs, and found a room full of people waiting out the fracas. They had lit candles all around, which seemed somehow to lessen the potency of the ambient gas. A useful tip, perhaps, for riot attendees.

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