Greetings Citizens of the World ~ Stand With The People of Turkey to Save The Trees.
SAVING TREES IS NOT AN ACT OF TERROR
Greetings citizens of the world.
We are Anonymous.
We are appalled by the events taking place in Turkey today, as Prime Minister Erdogan declared that his patience had worn thin and sent hundreds of riot police to indiscriminately destroy the protest encampments in Gezi Park and Taksim Square.
PROTEST TO SAVE TREES TURNS TO POLICE BRUTALITY IN TURKEY
Memories of a Public Square
In order to make sense of the protests in Taksim Square, in Istanbul, this week, and to understand those brave people who are out on the street, fighting against the police and choking on tear gas, I’d like to share a personal story. In my memoir, “Istanbul,” I wrote about how my whole family used to live in the flats that made up the Pamuk apartment block, in Nişantaşı. In front of this building stood a fifty-year-old chestnut tree, which is thankfully still there. In 1957, the municipality decided to cut the tree down in order to widen the street. The presumptuous bureaucrats and authoritarian governors ignored the neighborhood’s opposition. When the time came for the tree to be cut down, our family spent the whole day and night out on the street, taking turns guarding it. In this way, we not only protected our tree but also created a shared memory, which the whole family still looks back on with pleasure, and which binds us all together.
Today, Taksim Square is Istanbul’s chestnut tree. I’ve been living in Istanbul for sixty years, and I cannot imagine that there is a single inhabitant of this city who does not have at least one memory connected to Taksim Square. In the nineteen-thirties, the old artillery barracks, which the government now wants to convert into a shopping mall, contained a small football stadium that hosted official matches. The famous club Taksim Gazino, which was the center of Istanbul night life in the nineteen-forties and fifties, stood on a corner of Gezi Park. Later, buildings were demolished, trees were cut down, new trees were planted, and a row of shops and Istanbul’s most famous art gallery were set up along one side of the park. In the nineteen-sixties, I used to dream of becoming a painter and displaying my work at this gallery. In the seventies, the square was home to enthusiastic celebrations of Labor Day, led by leftist trade unions and N.G.O.s; for a time, I took part in these gatherings. (In 1977, forty-two people were killed in an outburst of provoked violence and the chaos that followed.) In my youth, I watched with curiosity and pleasure as all manner of political parties—right wing and left wing, nationalists, conservatives, socialists, and social democrats—held rallies in Taksim.
This year, the government banned Labor Day celebrations in the square. As for the barracks, everyone in Istanbul knew that they were going to end up as a shopping mall in the only green space left in the city center. Making such significant changes to a square and a park that cradle the memories of millions without consulting the people of Istanbul first was a grave mistake by the Erdoğan Administration. This insensitive attitude clearly reflects the government’s drift toward authoritarianism. (Turkey’s human-rights record is now worse than it has been in a decade.) But it fills me with hope and confidence to see that the people of Istanbul will not relinquish their right to hold political demonstrations in Taksim Square—or relinquish their memories—without a fight.
Orhan Pamuk is the author of eight novels, the memoir “Istanbul,” and three works of nonfiction, and is the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. He opened the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul last year, and published an accompanying catalogue, “The Innocence of Objects.”
Translated by Ekin Oklap.
Photograph by Holly Pickett/Redux.
Anonymous on behalf of the people of Turkey and all people worldwide who stand in solidarity with the Turkish Revolution currently taking place in many cities, ask that you contact your local Turkish embassy, ask them to stop the attacks on the demonstrators.
Organize and hold demonstrations in the center of your city, or in front of your local Turkish Embassy.
Call your news-media and make sure that they cover the uprising and violence being waged against the people of Turkey.
Call the United Nations, your state, local, and federal elected representatives and ask them to join in the voices of protest against the gassing and violence currently being brought down on the people in Turkey
Turkish Embassy in DC Address: 2525 Massachusetts Ave West Washington DC 20008 Ambassador Namık Tan Phone: (202)612-6700 & (202)612-6701 Fax: (202)612-6744 Working Hours Monday – Friday (09:00-18:00) Eastern
Mission of Turkey to the United Nations Tel: (212) 949-0150 821 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017
Additional consulates’ info here: http://vasington.be.mfa.gov.tr/ContactInfo.aspx
Consulate in Atlanta Address: Chairperson, The American Turkish Friendship Council 1266 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW Suite 257 Atlanta, GA 30327 Phone: (404) 848-9600 Fax: (404) 848-9600 www.honturkishconsulga.org Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Consulate in Boston Address: 31 Saint James Av Ste 840 Boston, MA 02116 Phone: (617) 451-1329
Consulate in Chicago Address: 360 N Michigan Ave, Suite 1405 Chicago IL 60601 Phone: (312) 263.0644
more consulates’ info here: http://vasington.be.mfa.gov.tr/ContactInfo.aspx
We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Prime Minister Erdogan, you are a despot A petty little dictator who will fal.l You had better expect that.
Posted on June 12, 2013, in Earth Rights, Human Rights and tagged Atlanta, Gezi Park, Istanbul, Museum of Innocence, Namık Tan, Orhan Pamuk, Protests in Turkey, Taksim Square, Turkey. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.