Turkey update - another report from Ankara

Zeynep Tufekcioglu zeynept at turk.net
Tue Jun 25 11:35:14 MDT 1996

Hi People,

I have a lot of friends who know I post around the internet. I've received
the following report from Ankara. I am posting it to the list, verbatim.

>Number of demonstrators were more than a thousand, all members of Emek
>Partisi (Labour Party), a marxist party. People which may be described as
>"onlookers" were a small grup of civilian fascist MHP members who have
>organized themselves as supporters of para-military forces of the state.
>Sometimes plainclothes police pose as MHP members (their symbol is a
>gray-wolve which they imitate by fingers) and "protest" protestors, of
>course behind a barricade of police to protect them. Actually most police
>forces dealing with political demonstrations and terrosim share the
>ideology of civilian fascists.
>The absence of political authority does not encourage a "sense of
>freedom". Between 1992-1996 social democrats were always partners of
>coalitions as minority party. Because of that, police had to be less
>agressive. Actually the latest breakup of the coalition in 1995 was due
>to a disagreement regarding behaviour of police and social democrats'
>"minor opposition" to police brutality. That is one reason. Another is
>the aggravation of economic crisis. Rulers of the country very well know
>that the only way to put things into order will be austerity measures.
>And to prevent workers from  using their force in the streets they use
>several pretexts like may day and hadep congress incidents.
>There are more than 17 tv channels with national coverage but all are
>either in the hands of big capital or islamic capital. On hadep issue all
>channels use same discourse to feed nationalist sentiments or prejudices.
>Coverage was biased. For eg. onlookers were presented as "ordinary
>citizens". Hadep officials have officially condemned the cutting of
>Turkish flag but none of the media gave hadep version of things. They
>were tried and sentenced in absentia on the media. Yesterday all media
>called on the people to hang their flags.
>From my flat in Ankara I can see hundreds of flats. I count only one flat
>heeding the call to put on the Turkish flag.  The situation may be
different in >downtown because once a neighbor puts the flag, you feel
obliged to do so in >order not to be identified as a PKK supporter. The
situation is very much >polarized. As i write this, i can hear the roaming
of helicopters (all >blackhawks or Cobra) of security forces, making flights
over the city and the >Middle East Technical University. My neighborhood is
a progressive area where >always the left wins in elections near the university.
>It is correct to say Turkey is boiling from inside. But it seems,
>unfortunately, the polarization is being fueled by the ruling classes to
>establish a more repressive regime. Marxists are not organized and there is
not >a single umbrella bringing them together at least on a democratic
agenda. >Workers unions have also condemned the hadep congress incidents.
Trade unions >have been weakened followings events in May Day.

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