David Pierce // Matematik (Mathematics) // M.S.G.S.Ü.


Ankara, November 3, 2007

The occasion was a demonstration for a free, democratic and egalitarian Turkey (özgür, demokratik ve eşitlikçi bir Türkiye). We gathered at the Ankara Train Station (Ankara tren garı) with some of our university comrades. One of us was interviewed for a documentary.

Then we marched over to Atatürk Bulvarı.

At the boulevard, we turned south and marched to the rallying area in Sıhhiye, near the great Hittite sculpture. It is my impression that, in Turkey as in the United States, Saturday is as popular a day for driving as any other. Yet our march was occupying a major traffic artery through the city. Well, that was something. The Ankara mayor does what he can to build roads for cars, even when it means taking away sidewalks from pedestrians. Yet we were making the city center car-free for a time.

We took a break for lunch at a nearby restaurant, then returned to the rally. This meant passing again through a gauntlet of police officers. The search of me was cursory. I was merely asked whether the liquid in my bottle was water. But Ayşe's red scarf aroused suspicion, as did the revolutionary literature she had collected from people handing it out. So it would seem that the police were searching for more than immediate physical dangers.

There were few handmade signs with clever sayings. Most signs were printed in multiple copies, or else they expressed membership in a group (a party or a union). Slogans from the round red signs included:

One great banner said roughly, “We are Alevi in Sivas; Armenian, with Hrant Dink; Kurdish, with Uncle Moses [an assassinated Kurdish elder]…”

Lately, the national flag is displayed everywhere in Turkey. It seems to represent war fever. The demonstration called for peace, and nobody carried the national flag.

Son değişiklik: Tuesday, 12 June 2012, 14:31:21 EEST