Today at 7:30, the police came back, with a single goal: provocation. The media, which for 14 days has refrained from reporting what is actually happening in the park and on Taksim Square, is now showing nothing but images of a handful of alleged protestors throwing Molotov cocktails at the police. The water cannons haven’t been able to drive away the demonstrators because the water pressure is too low. These protestors are carrying an SDP flag, but they are not SDP supporters. Everything is staged. The point is to produce images that present the demonstrators occupying Gezi Park as violent hooligans. It’s about creating images to support Erdogan’s words. Everyone knows this who’s been here in the last few days and has been following what is really happening. The headquarters of the SDP (Socialist Democratic Party) in Beyoglu has been seized by police officers.
There’s no shooting in the mornings and it’s quiet. A group of peaceful demonstrators manage to form a human chain around the park to “protect” it. Then stones start flying and everything is destroyed again with gas and water cannons.
By 1pm, all is quiet again. I go home to do some writing and check my messages. An hour later, two friends come by. They tell me that for no reason at all, this peaceful mood was shattered when water cannons were set off in the square. Pure provocation. Stones fly, water cannons shoot indiscriminately in all directions. Another friend who is near the first aid point in the park tells me that there are more and more injuries. People are brought to the park’s medical team with bleeding wounds, some unconscious. Gas has been thrown directly into the park.
No one understands why the police has launched this assault without notice. The mayor of Istanbul tweeted that the flags should be removed from the Ataturk monument and the Ataturk Cultural Centre, to give the impression that the square is occupied … It is!
I hope that it’s not going to go back to how it was at the beginning. It is good to see so many people in the park again, regardless. I am skiving the second day of my internship. But it’s OK: a colleague is also here.