The peaceful protests that started in Gezi Park and Taksim Square in Istanbul approximately a month ago are winding down in the face of extreme police brutality. At the peak of the demonstrations well over 2.5 million people took to the streets in protest, and 79 of Turkeys 81 provinces were involved in demonstrations. Though the large protest are fading out, there has been a rise in passive resistance similar to the “standing man” protest in which individuals or small groups stand motionless at random locations staring at a portrait of the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, or the Turkish flag.
As the protests deminish in volume and number, the state moves in with its usual brutal reprisals against those who had the courage to demand change. Four people have been killed and well over 8,000 injured since May 28. Some of the injuries are severe, 11 have lost eyes and at least 60 are in a serious condition. The number detained by the police is proving difficult to assess as information is not readily released, but estimates put the figure at over 5,000. Also being targetted are journalist who reported on the protest or complained about the Turkey's babbling brook of bullshit, the mainstream media's lack of coverage, along with artists and writters who showed support for the protests.
The Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdgan, stated that what the police had done was heroic, a defence of democracy. How teargassing and bludgeoning more that 2.5 million of your citizens, and then detaining over 5,000, can be classed as a defence of democracy, defies logic. That, of course, is the logic of the state, the state apparatus comes before the people.