With Turkish media otherwise giving scant reports about the protests, many turned to social media outlets for information on the unrest.Meanwhile, a group called OccupyGezi for the World successfully raised enough money in the last two days to take out a full page ad in the Washington Post or the New York Times:
"There is now a menace which is called Twitter," Erdogan said. "The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society."
From the Turkish People to their Government:Finally, here is an eye-popping video that shows the Turkish rebellion in 90 seconds:
The violent response to a peaceful protest to save Istanbul’s Gezi Park symbolizes an autocratic government’s increasing encroachment on the civil rights of the country’s citizens. We hope for new dialogue—one that can restore the trust of Turkish citizens in a government that positioned Turkey as a global economic power, but which is now getting recognition around the world for condoning harsh police retaliation that strikes at the pillars of democracy.
This is not just about a park
Before the park came the the arrests of journalists, elected officials, laws restricting the sale of alcohol, systemic de-secularization of future generations through Islamification of school curricula. The plans to demolish Gezi Park despite public opposition and the subsequent police brutality directed at demonstrators finally sparked the reaction against Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s decade-long rule. The demonstrators are from different ideological, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds. They are young, old, religious, secular, gay, straight, foreign, domestic, fringe, mainstream, anarchist, women in headscarves, women in tank tops, Alevi, Sunni, Jewish, and Christian. This is Turkish Democracy in action.
This would not have happened had it just been the park. Protests are to no avail. In a true democracy, citizens can question and amend government initiatives.
This wouldn’t have happened had the Turkish goverment not used excessive teargas, plastic bullets, tanks, helicopters and physical voilence to crush the peaceful Gezi park protestors. A true democracy allows for protest and does not use excessive violence against its citizens.
This would not have happened had the big Turkish media channels covered the riots from the start. Unfortunately there are strong ties between media outlets and the government. This is why Turkish protestors use social media to seek the attention of foreign media. In a true democracy, media is independent and reports in a balanced way on events happening.
This Statement is Crowdfunded by Concerned Individuals from Around the World
For a full wrap-up on the scene in Turkey last night, check out joanneleon's diary here. Fantastic photos and video.