An email from my friend, Demet, in Istabul.
There was a great crowd on the street from very diffent groups; socialists, commies are definitely out there on the front yet hard to say that one party or view dominates. It's mainly been a spontaneous, disorganized union mainly against that "AKP is selling everything in the city!" People try to appropriate the common and it is actually the experience of protesting that unites. Especially for the last couple of months, the police have been so violent; pepper and tear gas is like a routine in our daily lives. One noticeable thing of the last months is that the ones who used to scorn protestors for disturbing " peace" and believed them to be a "group of marginals " came to realize this was not the case and that anybody against government policies could easily turn into a "marginal". Now people are almost ashamed to say that they did not get involved in the struggle and that they did not "have the taste of the police gas" !
The whole city has been under the attack of capital, we have no say over it. Although it all started with Gezi Park, it grew out to be a protest in different cities against the authoritarian neoliberal policies and the AKP hegemony that has rendered people invisible and voiceless. (The recent alcohol sale restriction, the Syria policy, the increasingly conservative and religious statements, number of people prisoned as terrorists etc) And the national media is like a joke! On Friday night there was a penguin documentary on CNN Turkey, a beauty contest in another, a food show etc. There was practically a war on the streets in many cities yet on tv no sign of it. No surprise! (A month ago, there was a bombing in the town of Reyhanli - a town near the Syrian border- and according to offiicial reports 50 were killed. And the government banned broadcasting about this for two days) People watch BBC or CNN (ironic!!) to see how this was broadcasted. On Friday afternoon the Supreme Court announced its decision that the execution of the construction in the park was suspended and I just listened to the prime minister's statement over it saying that he cannot understand this decision and finds it somewhat dubious!!! So we'll see how this goes.
keep in touch and in solidarity
(shared with permission)