Behind the scenes - what is actually happening in Izmir?
The majority of Izmir supports the main opposition party in Turkey known as CHP. This has often been criticized by the current prime minister, from the party AKP. We have even been called 'Gavur Izmir', literarly translated as 'Foreign Izmir'. This has historical connotation as Izmir (formerly known as Symrna during the Greek times) had a big foreign (a.k.a non-Islamic) population. Yes, Izmir was foreign. So what? Why should this be brought up by Turkey's prime minister once again? What purpose does it serve besides creating unnecessary tension in polarizing Turkey? Something to think about.
Today, Izmir may still be seen as 'foreign' because there are many different views to those of the current government. Today I was in Alsancak. The main shopping street here known as Kibris Sehitleri Caddesi was again flooding with anti-government protestors. Mainly the protestors were left wing. I have never in my life seen that many posters of Lenin and Che in Turkey. There was also Greenpeace.
I am not going to stand here and defend all of the anti-government protestors for there are some groups that are taking advantage of the situation and want to stir things up (something that needs to be avoided is civil war in the country). However, I believe it is important to share who was protesting for what in Alsancak, Izmir today.
Members of various socialist parties in Kibris Sehitleri Street. If you look close you see the Soviet Symbol of the hammer and the sickle. The red flag reads 'Turkish Communist Party'.
Does this mean Turkey all of a sudden want to bring Communism into the country? It may be the main of this group protesting, however I do not believe a country that has been so used to Capitalism can all of a sudden transform itself into such governance. Mainly because the current government (medium-rightist views) preaches how much the Turkish economy has grown and the debt to the International Monetary Fund IMF has been paid. However, has anyone asked how this debt has been paid? By selling half of the country's domains. So let me ask you... we may no longer have the debt, but was it worth everything else we lost?
Probably out of all the happenings those who benefitted the most are these illegal flag sellers. ILLEGAL FLAG SELLERS?!! The fact that the poor takes advantage of such a situation and immediately turns the 'revolution' into a money making device. This is something to think about...
The top reads: 'We are going to build a shopping mall instead Turkish Republic'
The large yellow poster: 'What do you have that Hitler doesn't? We also want a gas chamber' (a protest against the unnecessary tear gas that has been used against the Gezi Park and Taksim protestors).
The pink poster: 'Instead of being a worthless prime minister, I rather be a broke thug (capulcu)' Capulcu, best translated as thugs is the word the prime minister has used to describe the protestors.
There are many scenes like this in the streets.
Protest against the use of tear gas.
People starting to collect at Gundogdu Square (main square in Izmir where the protests have been taking place).
Protestors have set up their own tents, creating an atmosphere similar to that in Gezi Park, Istanbul.
The lady was screaming 'free chicken and rice to all of the thugs (capulcu) out there.
People are not the only ones protesting, there are also dogs and cats!
'Living alone and freely as a single tree, living like brothers together as a forest'
The people as seen from the ferry.
.The Turkish Flag.
At the end of the day, the people will decide on what will happen to the future of Turkey in the elections some 10 months away. People will show at the voting ballots what will be the new government of Turkey. For I believe there has be change. No matter which country, if a certain government holds power longer than 10 years it is bound to get corrupted. Time to move on to the next one.