Friday, May 31, 2013
So why am I writing about it? Because, for the past couple of days, thousands of Istanbulites have been protesting there, trying to stop it being razed to the ground. And why is it being destroyed? To make way for yet another shopping mall. A shopping mall financed by leading members of the ruling AKP party, by people with eyes only for a profit. Right now, as I write, the police are attacking what has been a peaceful protest with tear gas grenades, pepper spray and rubber bullets. They are firing the pepper spray directly into people's faces. They have been firing the gas grenades into the metro station, where people not even involved in the protest, including children, have found themselves choking.
All for a few trees in a little park in a big city.
Of course, it's really about something much bigger: about the conflict in Turkey's soul between the aims and ideals of the secular republic and the Islamist desires of the government; about the endless struggle between civil liberties and libertarian greed; about the hunger for control and repression against the right to freedom of expression; It's about fights that take place every day between the over-mighty and the mass of people, all over the world.
The only thing the AKP really worships, it seems, is the power of money.
But in a little park in a big city, surrounded by dust and noise, and right now filled with gas, tears and blood and protest, something, something is happening. The Turkish people have turned, and right now, they are saying 'Enough is ENOUGH'.
The thing is, one little tree is one little tree, but give it time, and it can become a whole forest.