In the news: In Istanbul, a small sit-in at a park has ballooned into fierce anti-government protests since late May. The demonstrations are spreading to other cities around the country.
Commenting on the news: Sesil Tozcu, BSc Soil Water Atmosphere and Umut Aydöner, BSc Plant Science, both Erasmus exchange students from Turkey.
The government wanted to rebuild that park into a shopping mall. But it's the only place in that area where you can feel the nature, just like the Central Park in New York. People didn't accept it, so they wanted to demonstrate in a quiet and peaceful way. But one morning at 5 a.m. the police began to attack them. And then the riot began.
The protests are everywhere now. The government said that no people were killed. But as far as I know nine students were already killed in my hometown, Adana. Two of them were friends of mine, they died from the injuries by the plastic tubes of the tear gas. The situation is unclear and complicated. We don't exactly know what is happening. But the problem, in general, is the competition between two groups. Half of the population supports the government and the other half against it. So the anger against the government didn't appear suddenly.
Yesterday the prime minister said: 'if you have 10,000 people on the street, I have 500,000 people indoors.' He wanted to give the message that he has enough power for suppresion. It's crazy.
I'm sad, but I find hope in it. I think what's happening is a revolution. People are showing their solidarity. They help each other on the street, even though they didn't know each other before or if they have different religions and ideologies. What touched me most was a photo of people collecting debris with trash bags. They care about their community.
The media did little to report the truth, only one channel called Halk TV made a live broadcast about demonstrations. We believe that media are suppressed by the government. Also I think it's ridiculous that our prime minister traveled to North Africa yesterday while there were ongoing demonstrations in 65 provinces of Turkey. I leave it to you to decide what's happening in Turkey.
Video: one of the many Youtube videos that appeared onine in the last few days.