Suruç: The AKP and the Turkish “Deep State” Are Also Guilty

by Joseph Daher for Syria Freedom Forever
Reprinted with permission (original post)

On Monday, 20 July 2015, the ultra-reactionary movement Daesh (known as the self-proclaimed Islamic State) targeted a cultural center in Amara (in the district of Suruç, Turkey) which was hosting a meeting of 300 young Kurdish leftists, members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF). They were preparing to go to the nearby town of Kobanê in Syria, in order to participate in its reconstruction.

These young revolutionaries had left Istanbul the day before, to present themselves as “Children of Gezi”—children of the protest movement that began in Istanbul in June 2013. In a video for their campaign, a socialist youth of the SGDF said: “We will plant five hundred trees in the name of revolutionaries who were killed in the resistance against the Islamic State in Kobanê. We will also plant fruit trees in the name of Berkin Elvan [who was killed during the Gezi protests at the age of fifteen], reconstruct the war museum in Kobanê, rebuild the library and nursery at the cultural center, build a playground, and join the cleaning efforts in the city center of Kobanê.”

These young people were bringing books, toys, and clothes, as well as young trees to plant. The terrorist attack caused the death of more than thirty of them, and injured over one hundred. Continue Reading

“Berkin was our heart, our brother, our comrade.”

AntiNote: The following interview was conducted by phone in the final hour of last month’s hostage situation in Istanbul by Ahmet Şik, a prominent Turkish opposition journalist who has been jailed for his writing in the past, with the two hostage-takers themselves.

Earlier in the day, a photo began circulating in social media showing one of the two hostage-takers, Bahtiyar Doğruyol and Şafak Yayla, posing in front of their group’s hammer-and-sickle insignias with a pistol to the head of their hostage, state prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz. It was a disturbing photo, and spread quickly without much benefit of context or explanation in most cases. For those unfamiliar with the history and current landscape of militant left politics and conflict in Turkey, the photo was a cipher and prompted much speculation.

At any rate, there was not much time for this kind of social media speculation, much less for real information-gathering, since the Turkish authorities immediately forbade the broadcast media from reporting on the hostage situation, the violence that ended it, or the public outcry that followed. Alternative and opposition print and online outlets insufficient in their condemnation of the act were tarred as supporters of terrorism, a pretext the Turkish authorities have used in the past to harass, intimidate, imprison, and incite violence against journalists. And a few days later, the Turkish government imposed a short-lived ban on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in the country.

The still ongoing campaign of censorship around this ordeal has reached beyond Turkey’s borders as well, as the government there also persuaded Facebook to shut down a list of pages it deemed in violation of their gag order. One such page was that of our comrades at Lower Class Magazine, which had published a German translation of Şik’s interview with Bahtiyar Doğruyol and Şafak Yayla along with a short foreword, all of which we present here in English.

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Sunset, Sunrise: Threnody for Child Victims of State Violence

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By Antidote’s Laurent Moeri

The sun rides low on the horizon, soon to disappear behind the sea. In the ebbing light, scrabbly mountains discolor slowly in deepening shades of blue. A couple is sitting in a secluded cove, sand in their hair, gazing at the reddish-gold sinking orb. A few last fishing boats are returning to the small harbor. A fisherman begins to unload his catch; sitting, he slices open each fish and throws the offal in the water. Shrieking gulls arc above him, fighting over the glistening scraps.

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Berkin Elvan lebt

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Von Antidote’s Laurent Moeri

Die Sonne steht tief und senkt sich langsam dem Horizont entgegen, um in Kürze hinter dem Meer zu verschwinden. Die kargen Berge verfärben sich durch das verebbende Licht in einem fortwährend dunkler und tiefer werdendem Blauton. Ein verliebtes Paar sitzt mit Sand in den Haaren in der Bucht und blickt in die rotgoldene, sich senkende Kugel. Die letzten Fischerkutter kehren in den kleinen Hafen ein. Einer entladet bereits seine Beute, schlitzt sitzend die Fische auf und wirft Unpassendes ins Wasser. Kreischende Möven kreisen über ihn, kämpfen um die Innereien.Continue Reading