After spending the night feeling like someone was sitting on my chest and realising that I was developing a strange rash, I decided to try and go to the doctor. The sky was a violet grey as the rain gently fell on the ruins of the barricade which once blocked my neighbourhood from the advances of policemen in tanks, or TOMAs. The ground was littered with fresh cardboard rings from fired gas canisters and the Square was desolate— save for a few people attempting to go about their business, under the watchful eyes of policemen hidden within vehicles and relaxing on plastic lawn chairs. I naively hoped that the metro would be open, and it was not. I wrapped my scarf tightly around my bare arms and headed through Gezi Park— as the quickest path between two points is a straight line.
My heart ached between my sore lungs as I surveyed what was once a site of peace and freedom of expression. After police moved in on Taksim yesterday, Gezi was now a windswept mess of torn tents and debris. A few protesters sang and danced hand-in-hand to the tune of a guitar, while people attempted to clean up the litter that was plastered to the wet grass and pavement. I could not tell if people were still in the tents— it all looked so hollow. How much longer can this violence continue? Lawyers and Twitterers are being arrested, and I've been told that the Imam who dared to deny the claim that protesters entered his mosque with beer bottles and shoes on has now "gone on vacation". News channels who are live streaming the events are being accused of "harming the development of youth". I don't know what to say anymore.
I carry a small dust mask in my bag and now, an inhaler. My bronchioles are inflamed, and at the advice of my doctor, I will share my inhaler with anyone who needs it.
People will need it.