Joint statement on the riots in Turkey - Kara Kizil Istanbul and Servet Dusmani

Joint statement on the riots in Turkey - Kara Kizil Istanbul and Servet Dusmani

Joint statement on the riots in Turkey which broke out on 11 March when a teenage boy injured by police during the Occupy Gezi protests last year died, by Kara Kizil Istanbul (Red and Black Istanbul) and Servet Dusmani.

Berkin Elvan is Immortal!

"I gave the orders" - Tayyip Erdogan, June 23, 2013.
"It is not Allah, but Erdogan who took my son from me" - Gulsum Elvan, March 11, 2014.

15 year old Berkin Elvan has passed away this morning (March 11), 268 days after he was shot in the head by the police with a tear gas canister during the 2013 Gezi rebellion. He was being kept in an induced coma since the head injury and his condition had taken a turn for the worse a few days ago due to complications. He was down to 16 kg.'s of body weight when he died. The leftist boy of the Alevite religious minority is the latest and youngest of the Gezi martyrs.

No government official showed interest in Berkin's status till yesterday, when President Abdullah Gul managed a lousy phone call to Berkin's father, Sami Elvan, asking if there was anything he could do. Sami Elvan's only demand of Gul was that he pull back the police from the hospital vicinity. Police had been harassing Berkin's supporters who were invited there by the Elvan family. Such harassment included seizing sleeping bags and making arrests. Police only retreated this morning from the hospital in their vehicles under pressure from an increasingly angry group of Berkin's supporters, but not before causing one fresh case of head trauma in an individual, by the same means through which Berkin was murdered; tear gas canister aimed at the head from a short distance. Said individual's current health status is stable.

Berkin's suspected murderers, the policemen who were attacking the crowds in the poor and left-wing neighborhood of Okmeydani where Berkin was injured on June 15 2013 are now facing charges in court. As per their statements in court so far, the officers, including their chief who was in charge of the operation, seem to be suffering from collective amnesia regarding the events of the day, in typical fashion. It is highly unlikely they will be sentenced in any significant manner, considering the lack of any serious sentencing or disciplining so far of officials responsible for the prior Gezi protest deaths.

What adds insult to injury is the December revelation that many high-ranking AKP government members, including ministers and most importantly the prime minister Tayyip Erdogan himself, have been enriching themselves and their close circles massively through bribes and other illegal and shadowy activities. EU minister Egemen Bagis, minister of interior Muammer Guler, environmental and urban minister Erdogan Bayraktar, and minister of economy Zafer Caglayan were forced to resign upon the scandal.

The criminal investigation targeted the sons of some of these ministers, who were running the show, and was closing down on Tayyip Erdogan's son Bilal Erdogan, before it was aborted by Tayyip Erdogan himself through a massive purge and reshuffling of police chiefs throughout the country and new laws passed in a hurry that crippled and purged the judiciary. Erdogan has thus rendered himself immune to the law and coupled with his tight control over the media it is fair to say that he has turned the country into his personal dictatorship. Leaked audio recordings of phone tap evidence from the aborted corruption and graft investigation of December have since been floating on the internet, and new material is still being released daily. This also constitutes one of the main reasons why the Erdogan government is eager to increasingly censor the internet in Turkey.

The audacity and scale of the criminal enrichment of the children of the ruling political families of Turkey presents a stark contrast to the fate of the murdered children of the Gezi rebellion who are of poor and often oppressed minority backgrounds, including Berkin Elvan.

Streets are bubbling with protest and anger as the police continues to violently attack people in the same manner that killed Berkin. There is already a photo of a police officer firing his pistol from a police car, over the heads of a mass of people marching on one of the Istanbul highways. A small number of lumpen government sympathizers in Ankara have attacked and wounded a demonstrator with a cleaver (signature weapon of such raging conservative "shopkeepers").

Protests and mass walkouts are taking place at universities and high schools. Barricades are going up in left-leaning campuses and poor neighborhoods to defend against police machinery. Dozens of demonstrations are being called and people are converging on central districts tonight. Vigils and sit-downs are taking place in various locations. A massive funeral procession is expected to take place tomorrow on March 12 at noon, amid high tension.

The media is not and cannot be expected to provide proper coverage of the issue and upcoming events. The world must know the reality of Berkin's death and the reality of the political situation in Turkey.

There is no justice and there can be no peace!

Comments

Mark.
Mar 11 2014 21:29

Report, photos and videos here

mikail firtinaci
Mar 11 2014 21:55

Turkish regime has completely lost its legitimacy. Supporters of AKP government support it as their own government; they are conscious of governments sole purpose is to operate as an instrument of violence not only against the working class but also against the otter opposing bourgeois factions. The regime receives a passive electoral support from certain segment of the workers. However, the sole reason why the workers support the government is that till now Erdogan employed a very effective economic and political blackmail strategy against the Turkish and Kurdish workers. The government is threatening workers with economic crisis and the resumption of civil war with PKK (Kurdish National Army with which the government is playing a secret diplomatic negotiation game). It is claimed that if AKP leaves the government this will end the prosperity that Turkey witnessed in the recent years.

However, Gezi revolt was very symbolic in showing that this prosperity has reached its limits since it basically relied on huge non-productive construction and gentrification investments that international speculators with short term easy money funded. These investments relied on the privatization of public assets, which happened in incredibly corrupt ways. The recent leaked telephone records showed the depth of corrupt relations formed around government, business, and media and Erdogan's family. Now that easy money is retreating from MINT countries, the government's 10 years long corrupt economic bonanza program is rapidly approaching to an open crisis.

Turkey stands in a junction today. Since all the traditional republican ideals that at least minimally (however unequally) formed a basic "social contract" binding the fragmented (ethnic, religious, political) social groups, the country can fall into a spiral of sectarian violence. In the last few days there were pogroms against Kurds in various small western towns. Many believe that behind these sudden rise of fascist pogroms after years of ceasefire is provoked by the government. However, surely Turks in many heavily right wing towns are already open to such provocations. The other alternative is the working class alternative, which can unite Turks and Kurds, as it already happened in Gezi Revolt. However leftists in Turkey are solely defending various programs of democratisms and a positive future perspective, communism is not on the horizon.

Just as the rest of the region around it, Turkey is also approaching to a moment of severe state collapse or crisis: it is either going to resemble Ukraine, Syria, or Iraq - a slow or rapid sectarian disintegration of society- or, Bosnia - an internationalist united working class alternative. Working class will decide which will be the course.

mikail firtinaci
Mar 11 2014 22:31

Correction: Comrades from Red and Black Istanbul are fighting on the streets, so the statement above is not collectively signed by them yet. However, I am sure their actions on the street is a signature itself.

I will update, whenever I receive any further info...

mikail firtinaci
Mar 11 2014 22:45

Anarchists in Istanbul/Kadikoy forcing the police to retreat:

mikail firtinaci
Mar 11 2014 22:51

Anger spontaneously burst out all day long. This little kid from Diyarbekir a major town in Kurdistan/South East Turkey is shouting: "Murderer, Robber AKP!"

https://vine.co/v/Mql9YDnY27P/embed

Entdinglichung
Mar 12 2014 17:21

@mikail firtinaci: will the protests "merge" with the Newroz celebrations?

ocelot
Mar 12 2014 14:37

And here's me about to head into Beyoğlu with a bunch of ceilidh musicians for the Paddy's Day weekend. Best bring a hankie...

Incidentally, if anyone's around Istanbul on the weekend, PM me.

Caiman del Barrio
Mar 12 2014 17:49

I recommend a helmet, some goggles and a mask. Most demonstrators will have spares. smile

mikail firtinaci
Mar 13 2014 07:24
Entdinglichung wrote:
@mikail firtinaci: will the protests "merge" with the Newroz celebrations?

Entdinglichung;

I think no new major riot will ensue in the following few days till the elections. The riots of the last two days were a gesture against the government, an obstinate desire to show that the spirit of revolt is still alive, and a collective mourning, fulfillment of a duty towards a young brother.

Government, with its usual right-wing paranoia feared these revolts as if they actually threatened the state, and reacted with an insane brutal police violence -well, nobody expected anything less from Erdogan. I think, as the legitimacy of government continues to evaporate it will turn more and more violent. What is strange is all those social and political crises don't seem to affect the voting patterns. Instead the existing sectarian (ethnic, religious, political) antagonisms are becoming sharper, and in some cases surfacing in the form of proto-pogroms against Kurds in provincial Western towns, etc.

I don't know what to think about the future. I think Newroz is too culturally and politically "Kurdish" for a vast majority of the people who participated in Gezi. It seems no ethnic-religious-cultural sign can be powerful enough to affect Gezi spirit. And maybe that is not such a bad think. Communalistic tent camp in Gezi had some sort of sub-conscious allusions to a primitive communist collective memory - or at least I like to think that way. There was no money, nobody asked who you were or what was your politics, everybody embraced each others as equals, and most interestingly women were literally at the forefront -in a surprising way for a heavily patriarchal country like Turkey. I feel that was something "innocent" and "pure" that people could feel attached to. In the last two days' revolts there was the same feeling. Some workers from stores over the route of the funeral mass spontaneously went to strike. I saw pictures of conservative people praying for Berkin. Same things happened a few years ago with TEKEL struggle, when the workers set up a tent camp occupation in the center of Ankara...

The strange thing about this feeling of communality is that it is silently communistic without actually forcing people to give up their established sectarian mentalities. It is almost like a magical truce in which people to let themselves enjoy an egalitarian solidarity and community, a temporary halt in cultural antagonisms. I think, a genuine proletarian struggle can achieve the same and even more, but Newroz can't.

ocelot
Mar 13 2014 10:30

Top post Mikail

ocelot
Mar 13 2014 14:37

This from Revolutionary Anarchist Action (Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet - DAF)
Anarkismo: For Berkin Elvan

mikail firtinaci
Mar 14 2014 05:03

I am sorry Ocelot. I could not find time yet to write longer or edit.

Steven.
Mar 14 2014 18:20
mikail firtinaci wrote:
I am sorry Ocelot. I could not find time yet to write longer or edit.

don't say sorry, he was saying your post was great, which it was!

ocelot
Mar 16 2014 10:35

Yes absolutely!