I Am A Turkish Citizen willing to answer any questions about the ongoing events.
Here is the /r/worldnews thread about what's happenned so far.
If anyone wants to hear anything from us Turks here on reddit, i think we'd be more than happy to answer your questions.
I would also like to raise awareness and get as much social media attention from any and every possible direction.
Some interesting links for you to check out:
Occupy Gezi, the park that sparked everything.
TheEarthquakeGuy's amazing summary of the event.
Protester hosed down by the police.
I will keep updating this thread if there is interest.
There have been over a thousand official resignations by police officers solely in Istanbul as far as we know.
Lawyers have set up toll free numbers and are offering their services to the people in need.
There are also lawsuits being filed to the police captains that have led the attacks on harmless individuals.
Do you mean policemen resigning in disagreement with the police's actions or policemen resigning as a direct result of their actions?
Policemen are resigning in disagreement with how the events have been handled by their own (and other government bodies).
Thank you, it's good to know not all cops follow the line. It seems fundamental freedoms are under threat, so keep up the good fight! Another question: are religious people in disagreement with the government too? Or do they support it because of the clear undermining of the secular order?
I am not really in touch with religious people but the few that I know are against the government as well.
Thank you. So it does go beyond secularism/islamism.
At this point, yes.
How do most secular Turks feel about the reopening of Halki Seminary and the existing oppression of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew? The Greek community there has been taken down to just 2,000 and I've been told (during my short 4 day visit to "The City") even secular Turks wouldn't want them back.
Is it just the current government and AKP party that has kept oppressing the Patriarch and refusing to open Halki?
The attempts to turn Hagia Sophia into a mosque, are they serious? Are they government sponsored, or supported by the people?
The attemps directed toward Hagia Sophia are trivial.
The current government isn't oppressing the Patriarch, it's their own judgement as far as I know.
They feel that the environment is hostile at the moment and the long running tensions between Greece and Turkey aren't helping anyone either.
The current issue, as far as I know, is that the Patriarch has to be a Turkish citizen, and must be born in Turkey, and also attend Halki Seminary. However, there really aren't many more generations of Orthodox left in Turkey, and the government has kept Halki closed.
Personally, I feel the best thing would be for the Turkish government to let Halki reopen as a seminary, and let the Christians build their Churches freely.
I don't know much about the Turkish government or the people, but would it be too much of a stretch to have complete religious freedom?
I may be dreaming, but it's be nice just to see parts of the old city refurbished and Greeks, Bulgarians and others move in there.
It's probably an impossible dream, but It'd be a nice hope, that if Greece is willing to return the mosques to Muslims, maybe in Turkey, the churches can be returned to Christians.
Are the groups that threatened to assassinate the Patriarch from small, Islamist groups? I remember seeing armed guards, tall walls and barbed wire around the church the Patriarch was at to protect him, is that hostility and beed for protection mainly due to his being a Christian symbol, or a political symbol (of Byzantium/Greee)?
Well if you think that Hagia Sophia is a simple church, you might be a little wrong.
After Constantin was run off and the Ottomans settled in, the Hagia Sophia WAS changed to a and used as a mosque.
Only in the recent past had it been transformed into a museum.
Do you think those officers will re-join the police force after this is over? They sound like decent individuals, it would be a shame if only the officers complicit in the violence remained on the force when this is all said and done.
Sadly anything I would tell you about them rejoining the force would be a lie.
I have no idea what will happen to them, but if the right people take charge once more I feel that these officers won't be forgotten.
fyi, police officers resigning is utter bullshit.
ps. wow social media on crisis moments like this is really fucking awful, the shit i have read on reddit today!
Beyond the pictures and videos... which so some pretty bad stuff to say the least... your view is that a propaganda machine is humming in the background?
Not exactly systematic propoganda machine at work but turkish pro-leftist youth has always been overly dramatic and naive. The last days' events are overblown beyond imagination, there is a post on reddit titled like 'islamist government is falling' for christ!
It may or may not be sensationalism.
I'm just conveying the word on the street.
That is why I added the "as far as we know".
It may be total and utter bullshit as you said.
So basically nothing you say matters because you are just repeating rumors that you know nothing about?
We were specifically talking about that video. I wasn't there at that time.
I just came back from the protests so anything you ask, I can answer. Live. From the frying pan itself.
Video of excessive force used by the police.
That man has apparently* been announced dead.
EDIT: Apparently*/ according to rumors, take it with a grain of salt.
did it break his neck? that is crazy.
Either that or the shock when he hit the ground was too hard...
Here is a live feed of what's going on at the moment for anyone who is interested.
the truth is he is not dead. he left the hospital after being cared for minor injuries
I would like to see an official statement myself because we are all in the dark here.
The information I gave was the one in the post itself which I agree may be falsified.
Is there anything people outside of Turkey can do to support protestors?
The best thing you could do is try to raise awareness in your local communities and share it on any sort of social media you can.
You can see it as one of the top trending topics on twitter I think ( Sorry, I don't use twitter...).
By helping us raise awareness and turn the eyes of the world towards Turkey, you give us more than a fighting chance. You give us coverage.
And with coverage comes pressure.
Do you have any links for us to watch the events live? Like a Turkish uncensored TV station?
You can watch the Besiktas Square from this site.
It's not as dangerous as the media makes it seem.
Protesters will not be badly injured if they do not physically taunt anyone.
As much as I would like to see it lead to an overthrown AKP, it won't be that easy.
Is this Turkey's Arab Spring? Are there many people supporting the government in these latest events? Do you feel America will intervene due to it's favorable ties with Erdogan?
People are not supporting the government in any way.
There might have been 47% of this nation that voted for him but once he started harming people, even those guys knew better than to side with him.
We are hoping it leads to a re-election and us overthrowing Erdogan, yes.
America shouldn't be intervening in any way shape or form here.
And in my opinion, they will not because they cannot. This is not some country that you can just waltz into with an army and harm its people.
The TSK ( Turkish Armed Forces ) will not let it happen.
Stay strong! Our wishes are with you.
To many of us in the Developing World, Turkey has been a symbol of progressive and democratic Islam, a model that should be strengthened, and considered for replication in other Muslim-majority countries.
Disclaimer: I am not a Muslim, nor do I come from an Islamic country.
I am not a Muslim either but I am all for freedom of practice.
Thank you for the kind wishes.
Are you nonreligious or just a different religion?
Non-religious but for the freedom of practice.
Is that common in Turkey? Are your parents religious?
My parents are not religious. I do not know anyone on a personal level that is not for the freedom of practice of any religion in Turkey.
But extremists do exist.
More and more people are becoming non-religious every day.
Interesting! At what generation did your family stop practicing Islam?
My father decided to stop practicing.
I've also read the three big holy scriptures and was given my own choice from the beginning. We are subjected to many different cultures and religions in Istanbul.
And I chose to be non-religious.
Isn't Turkey a Atheist country? I know I heard it from seomwhere.. Sorry if im out of context
Not really, no. It's a secular country but the majority is still muslim.
I never really liked your president, Erdogan, because he appears to be a religious conservative.
- What have been the latest suggestions or actions by Erdogan.
- How important is religion in everyday turkey?
- The military has often been in conflict with the government. whats their current position?
Erdogan thought that we were too afraid to react. There have been no announcements from him or the AKP (his political party) as of yet.
Religion had never been a big problem in Turkey before Erdogan came. I have never felt religious pressure during my life in Istanbul or Turkey in general. I should actually say had because things started to get hairy after their re-election.
The military has apparently said :" Polis mudahale etmeyi kesmez ise, biz polise mudahale edecegiz."
Which basically translates to " If the Police do not stop intervening, we will take action and intervene against them ourselves."
But the military is now ruled by AKP sympathizers, so on whose side is the military?
That may be the impression you have but the military themselves stated that they will side with the people if need be.
Although it remains to be seen, we do not want them to intervene in anyway this time around.
You never felt religious pressure maybe, but the religious folks sure felt pressure, especially because of the military. And lets not cause everybody to assume that the other parties in turkey, CHP and MHP are any good either. They are maybe more narrow minded. They really need to put together another alternative to the AKP
I have never stated that CHP or MHP were doing anything good.
And quite frankly, the religious weren't pressured in any way. It was their secluded way of living that alienated them from the rest of the population.
So is the general sentiment pretty much anti-government or are most people still just concerned about the park?
The park was the last straw.
People need to know that this started a couple of days ago. People were just manifesting against the demolition of the park, the police rolled in and tear gassed everyone until kingdom come.
That's when we decided that we've had enough and took action.
The park is the least of our concerns at the moment.
What is happening here is basically the people trying to overthrow the current government.
I'm in awe of the determination everyone there is showing. I hope for the best outcome.
Thank you very much!
I keep hearing that the demolition of the park was the 'last straw', but what were all the previous straws? Unwarranted jailing of some journalists/thinkers I heard about awhile ago, is that wrapped up in this?
What has the government done recently to create this eruption?
The events that led to this started a long while ago.
Arrests were made without justification during the "Ergenekon" case to many important public figures.
The recent laws that are trying to be implemented with an islamist agenda (i.e ban on alcohol sales) and certain religion-based tirades by Erdogan have also aggravated the situation.
Are the police using any kind of restraint when it comes to teargas ? Seems some of the pics in Occup Gezi are enclosed streets with no where to escape on the sides.
No holds barred.
As I stated above, there has been an incident in which they tear gassed a subway station and closed its gates to suffocate the people inside.
Is it still safe to visit Istanbul as foreign, irreligious western european traveler? Just for tourism.
Of course it is!
You just need to stay out of the Taksim area for a couple of days that's all. Unless you wanna join us, which is completely fine by me.
At this point is the goal to reform the government or is it taking the steps closer to overthrowing it?
Overthrowing the current one is what's on the majority's mind at the moment.
We don't really need a reform, just a decent government.
Why do some Turks in Germany and some Germans seem to hate each other?
Old cultural and political grudge would be my answer but it's a bit more complicated than that.
You should check out the Turkish migrations towards Germany after WW II
- Is it true that in Turkey the military is a force that tends to keep the country from from becoming fully Islamist?
- What is the relationship of the military to the current government?
- How will that affect the current situation?
The military has always been a force that counter-balanced the government. It does not keep the country from becoming fully-islamist, no. What keeps us from that is that even the current government is scared to abolish laicity.
The relationship hasn't change as of yet, they're both minding their own but the military has stated that they will side with the public and not the government.
As of now, things are looking better. Everyone is still up. We are all being as active as possible on social media and outside.
Have there been any deaths confirmed? I've seen several pictures of people who seem to have at least sustained serious injuries. Stay safe.
There is one confirmed death of a protester but it might be sensationalist news broadcasting. A tourist has been hit with a tear gas shell and has been moved into an E.R.
Note that they tear gassed a subway station and then closed it off.
I just got back from Bagdat Caddessi. Things are quite civil on the Asian side (for now).
What can I do to help?
Because I want to, and I don't know if you have the answer for that. Is there anything that I can do by myself or us as Redditors can do?
You can spread the word in your local community and on any form of social media you have access to.
The more attention directed towards Turkey right now, the better.
How all of this happened? I mean what was the ultimate action that cause this? Like the last drop.
As I said before, the last drop was the attack on the peaceful protesters at the Park in Taksim.
When they attacked innocent people for no reason, the hate just mounted up after the recent islam-fueled legislative changes.
And here we are now...
Where abouts are you currently based in Turkey? And where are you originally from in Turkey?
I'm currently in Istanbul and I was raised in Istanbul for the majority of my life.
My family is originally from Istanbul for more than 5 generations as far as I know.
I wanted to ask simply because geography makes a big difference in how you view the current events.
My family is from Adana and they are predominantly Fethullahci - you can understand how things are seen from their perspective.
Yes, I absolutely get your point.
Thank you very much for the thought.
Merhaba, Turkish citizen here too but have never lived there.
My dad is moving back to Istanbul after summer
I wish the very best for you and the protestors
Thank you very much fellow Turk.
I haven't heard much of the revolution or protests other than reddit. I mean to have to have a whole fucking army of peoople stand up what's it feel like to have to take part in something that's fighting something so corrupt and just wrong in general what they are doing to their citizens? and may you all be safe.
It feels empowering if anything in my opinion.
It's an amazing feeling to have a country that was so divided within itself to get together for one cause and fight for it.
If there is any people here that live in Instabul, our hearts go out to you, though it would be really great if you could snap some pictures and attach them to the thread, there is just so much confusion right now.
As soon as I get out of work, I'll get some pictures for the thread.
I know you said it was regarding the secrecy and the ignoring of people's rights but I'm curious as to what you are protesting for exactly? That is to say, what are the goals or what do you hope to see accomplished?
Thanks for doing this by the way!
The goal is to make Erdogan resign, pretty clear and simple.
A re-election is what people hope to see one would think.
Currently in Syria, the Civil War is composed of Government forces against several rebel forces, some of them more radically Islamist than others.
If I Civil War was to occur in Turkey, would it be more secular rebels against the increasingly Islamist government, or the other way around? Or is the situation much more complex than that?
It wouldn't really be a "classic" civil war in Turkey.
The people are nearly undivided against the government at the moment. The army has had a history of backing the people in the past and stated they will do so again.
Every party involved knows that this needs to be resolved without a war.
Why are the majority of protests in Istanbul and not Ankara? I would think that most anti-government protests would be in the capital city..
Simply based on the popularity of Istanbul. 14 Million people will make a hell of a lot more noise than 5 Million that's for sure.
I apologize for the selfish nature of these questions in advance. What's the situation in Istanbul for tourism etc, and ankara for universities. Me and some friends were going to head to istanbul for vacations in july and i've applied to turkey for higher studies so how does this affect those plans?
You should wait and see.
My own personal opinion is that it shouldn't affect your plans much.
what kind of people are protesting? male/female, young/old, wealthy/workingclass
in which society layer does erdogan have his supporters
Everyone is out there. From rich to poor. Male and female.
I've seen people of every age out there. Although you can only see people that are 17 and over in the conflict zones, which seems logical to me.
Have there been any problems in Nişantaşı? That's where my aunt and grandmother live.
Nisantasi is and should stay okay, it is one of the nicer neighborhood's and should stay safe during this period.
The exhaust pipe in the truck that shoots water exposed? If it is you should consider put something in like epoxy clay to mess that shit out
Edit: Look what the cannon can do PIC
The exhaust pipes are open.
Current course of action against what we call TOMAs are like this:
Block the exhaust pipe.
Spray paint the camera
Pour sticky substance on the windshield and then throw newspaper to obstruct their vision.
Thanks for the thought.
I was planning a trip to Turkey in October. Does what is happening have an effect on tourists? Do you think all this will die down by then or should I start looking for a different destination?
All of this should definitely have died down by then.
Touristic destinations like Bodrum, Antalya, Cesme, Izmir, Alacati are all good.
If you could write a headline about all of this what would it be?
I saw a tag in Taksim that read:
"The pepper is so sweet now"
It conveys a lot in my opinion. The increased forces are showing that we the people are getting to them, they are getting bitter by the minute.
Im going to Istanbul on the 28th of June. Is it relatively safe or do you recommend not going?
I'd wait a couple of days before making a final decision but it should be safe to come.
Are you trying to gtfo of there? I have a friend who is a Turkish national. He plays and teaches semi-professional tennis here in the US now for the last couple years. Is now attempting to get his green card and my Aunt and Uncle are assisting him with that. He is ashamed of his country for many reasons. He did plan to return over the fall but now has decided never to go back if possible. He says it's a disgusting terrible country full of Muslim scum (his words, not mine).
Are you trying to get out of there?
I'm not trying to get out as of yet, no.
Your friend has wildly exaggerated the situation here.
I also study abroad and have a second French nationality.
He should be trying to make things better instead of fleeing if you ask me.
This thread has a seemingly inaccurate tone to it. Many people are framing their questions in a way that would suggest this protest is some sort of uprising similar to what is happening and has happened in Syria, Egypt, etc. The OP is answering in a very optimistic activist tone about 'overthrowing the government'. I think there should be some clarity here - this protest is significantly smaller than the protests in Syria and Egypt for one, it is limited to Istanbul, Turkey is a very different country in terms of personal liberty and politics than Syria and Egypt and is an associate member of the EU and progressing toward full membership.
I am saying that overthrowing the government is what the people wish would happen. I've stated in this thread, however, that it is very unlikely.
You are absolutely correct that Turkey is a completely different country than Syria or Egypt.
Just a quick request. Maybe in a few sentences could you explain whats going on and why? Quick run down for people that don't know whats happening. Best of luck and thank you for doing an AMA.
To summarize and be very concise people are reacting to the current government's actions which were leaning towards an opressive regime.
The events started yesterday after police tear gassed and attacked citizens who were peacefully protesting the destruction of a park in Taksim. Things snowballed from there to what we can see now.
Don't think so...
Will this topple the government or will this just save the park or neither?
Too early to tell.
I've just gotten hold of today's newspaper. The Park project has been stopped for the moment and is being reviewed in public court.
Toppling the government is not that easy and I don't think it will happen in the near future.
I have removed this as all AMAs require proof. Once you provide proof, I will gladly reinstate it. Thanks!
Inboxed you some sort of proof.
Why do you care so much about a park? To me it seems like Turkey is just full of uncivilized people who look for excuses to fight others. Just like how you guys committed the Armenian genocide.
This kind of thing would never happen in a 1st world country such as Sweden.
If you could please be so kind and read a couple of the posts in here.
It would enlighten you about the situation.
But sure, if it pleases you to generalize a nation as uncivilized, feel free to do so.
Much love to Sweden.
I have read all your comments here. Stop being passive aggressive.
As usual, you didn't even acknowledge me saying anything about the armenian genocide, just like your turks like to do. Fuck you and your 3rd world country.
Are you glad that president Obama s doing his best to avoid the term "genocide", when it comes to the Armenians?
Don't mean to sound defensive or anything but what in the world does the Armenian Genocide have anything to do with this?
Don't mean to sound defensive or anything but what in the world does the Armenian Genocide have anything to do with this?
Its lack of acknowledgement seems to be an ongoing event. Do you feel that this is to appease the Turkish government?
Are you aware of the situation over here right now or....???
If you do want an answer about the Genocide situation, calling it one or not does not appease nor aggravate anything on our side.
No one in Turkey has kept on actively discussing the term genocide after the big media coverage on the French legislation (that failed to pass).
I'm merely curious about your stance on the issue. I only hear from Armenians in the US.
My stance is, it's in the past.
Giving it a name does not alleviate anything.
If they want to call it a genocide, so be it.
*My stance is, it's in the past.
Giving it a name does not alleviate anything.
If they want to call it a genocide, so be it.*
If they refers to Armenians, and 21 countries, you have answered my question, thank you.
"They" refers to anyone who wishes to call the event a Genocide, yes.
One thing I never get about conflicts like this is how they get the police to unanimously get violent against their friends and neighbors. Do you know any members of the police? Do they have objections to what is happening?
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