Wednesday, June 12, 2013


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.


Anonymous said...

Keep telling us ... we see you

Vicky said...

This is all so sad and your photos show that. One day, young people are peacefully reading and the next there are scenes of violence and destruction. Know that the world is watching. Turkey has been a top world news story for days. Please be safe.

AD said...

Thank you for writing these posts.
Anja - Denmark

szaza said...

Thank you Sheryl, Vicky, and Anja— I read about the two journalists this evening... I am shocked, but sadly, not surprised. We all worry where the line is— when will our tweets, facebook or blog posts be considered too much for the powers that be? Are we being paranoid, or is this terror?

missnd said...

thanks for sharing our story with everyone. i know it is hard at this place right now, coz it is a terrible mess, but please keep sketching. your art about 'gezi' will make it eternal.

i dont know what will happen next, but i hope the movement will make changes, positive changes. people die for it. those who died are our brothers and sisters that i hope one day when the world changes, will be remembered as heroes, all around the world. they need to be remembered.

thanks again, and take care of yourself.

szaza said...

Thank you missnd— I will try and keep up the sketching once I recover. This is an important moment in history, that needs attention. The Gezi protesters are brave people who must be honoured.

Rob Dunlavey said...

Please stay safe and let us know how you are.

Sue Pownall said...

How awful.

I hope you feel better soon and this awful violence ends soon.

szaza said...

Thank you, Rob and Sue.