Meydana Bak (Look at the Square)

I’ve been getting nearly daily updates from a friend who has been living in Turkey for 8 or 9 years regarding the Taksim protests. I particularly liked the end of this one here:

Sometimes – especially after this weekend, where we have lost the park and our movement is exhausted and we’re fighting on every street of central Istanbul – sometimes, it’s easy to feel like we’re losing. I think that’s an important part of actually winning. The city’s officials fear us. Erdogan’s speech today was shrill and absurd – because he fears us. Now, we’re hearing reports that AKP thugs are moving through parts of the city to fight demonstrators, and the police are letting that happen – because they fear us. To suggest, now, that this is a country that has been anything but ruled by authoritarian means is demonstrably false. We pushed them to the point of openly demonstrating their contempt for democracy and for other people, all over a small park that most of us never walked through because it was too damn sketchy at night.

Still, because of it, everything from this point forward will be harder for them, and even if it doesn’t feel like it on a day-to-day basis for us, that is winning.

Also, a shout out to my botanist friends: The trees in Gezi Park are not Sycamores, as has been frequently reported, but Oriental Planes. Apparently, that’s an easy mistake to make, if you aren’t a botanist…

Much love from Istanbul

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