Turkey uprising: eyewitness account from Izmir

These are a series of accounts we have received from Izmir. While we do not necessarily share all of the conclusions, we think they reflect very well the mood of the movement.

Sunday, June 2

I wouldn't name it a revolution, to be honest. Well, the masses are mobilized but their demands are still not clear to this day... And unfortunately it is not a wholly class-conscious movement. There are even ultra nationalists in the crowd in addition to LGBT organizations and leftists. Also, because of government censoring of the media, the majority of the population is still not aware of what is going on around the country. The TV channels could start broadcasting from the battlefield after the 5th day of the clashes (just after the dictator Tayyip Erdogan mentioned the rebellion in his speech)

But the important thing is this: people are fed up with the oppression that's been going on for the last ten years and finally started to express their anger against corrupt government (and the Fethullah Gulen movement which is very influential in politics). The cause of rage is not one thing or another. It is combination of lots and lots of things. Human right abuses, intervention against individual freedoms, rising unemployment, government officials' reckless speeches and their inability to represent everyone. But the Reyhanli incident (where the Free Syrian Army -or another US funded 'rebel group' bombed two targets in a southern town. Police was informed a month ahead of time but they didn't act. 50 people were killed as a result) was one of the last things that sparked the rebellion. No one feels safe anymore.

The Gezi park thing was just an excuse… Police attacked with all their violence yet another peaceful demonstration. That was what made everyone mad at first. Then things got bigger and bigger.

Well,there is a lot more to say but that's the situation in Turkey, in a nutshell.

I was at the streets all day yesterday. I marched with socialist groups towards AKP (Justice and Development Party) building. Panzers were waiting there. I tasted pepper spray for the second time... Soo intense, this time. Cops spray everywhere, it becomes almost impossible to breathe. They sometimes shoot plastic bullets to scare the crowd. But, as i told before, no one is scared anymore..We have nothing to lose!

I have never seen Turkey that beautiful I hope the same for every country in the world.

Sunday, June 2

Things are happening spontaneously. In Izmir, most of the demonstrators were social democrats and soccer fans. Everyone is pretty much doing what they want to do.

I think, there is definitely a potential for this resistance to develop into some sort of political movement. There are people in the crowd that join a demonstration for the first time in their lives. And now they see why leftists have been so insistent on doing what they are doing. We, the people, showed the fascist state what we are capable of doing. I don't think the events will die out soon. Even if government somehow manages to suppress this movement, people will get together whenever they feel they are being treated unfairly. They are going to learn what democracy really means. Of course, the biggest role is that of revolutionaries. We have to educate, agitate, organize...

An interesting detail about Taksim: At the place where they were going to build the shopping mall, some of the CEO's of the companies that would open shops in the mall stated that 'They didn't want to open shops there since our citizens' blood are spilled there' Even now, they don't stop their deceitful nonsense to brainwash people.

June 5

Izmir is pretty peaceful. Thousands of people are gathering at a square downtown near the sea every day after work. They are chilling, singing, chatting, drinking etc. Some are chanting slogans. We have proved that there actually is no need for the police and without them everything would be just fine.

I think that might be why it was really violent in Ankara, Antakya and Dersim yesterday. They might be trying to take revenge of their colleagues in other cities which had to retreat. The reason why police gave up on Istanbul is international media coverage. They are trying not to harm their reputation. It is a life and death issue for them!

Lots of people are taken under custody in Izmir for just tweeting (or re-tweeting other people's help demands)

In another city, Rize, AKP supporters tried to lynch a group who were protesting the government.

There is a great spirit of solidarity outside. Everybody is trying to help each other and everybody is sharing everything! Food, meds, books, etc. Just like it is supposed to be. But I am not quite sure whether there is a name for what people are doing.