This was written by a dear friend, a citizen of Turkey in Istanbul. She has been protesting along with many of her countryman in a civil uprising that escalated from a stand against commercialism to a national fight for democratic justice.
The situation here is more serious than it shows on TV. After a series of peaceful demonstrations for preserving a recreational area in the Istanbul city centre, which is planned to be demolished for the construction of a shopping mall, Turkish police attacked the protesters violently with tear gas and water cannons, directly targeting their faces and bodies.
Hundreds of protesters have been hospitalized and access to the park is blocked without any legal basis. Turkish media, directly controlled by the government or with business and political ties to it, refuse to cover the incidents. Press agencies also blocked the information flow.
Now, thousands of people are on the streets every day. The sky is almost covered with tear gas. Everyone has a gas mask, some of them prepared at home. This is the first time the secular population in Turkey has arisen against an anti-democratic empire of fear.
People go to work during the day and protest during the night. The police continues to be very harsh on protesters, even arresting the tourists.
The protesters never harm any property; our only acts are walking with our flags and singing the national anthem. There are also many protests in European countries to support us.
All we want is to live in a democratic and humanitarian society. I believe these are historical times. Because this is not political, this is about being human.
Professors, writers, students, housewives, actors, young, old, every person from every part of the society is hand in hand in the streets except those who live under the supression of Islam and the prime minister.
A large group dwells in Taksim park. Everybody brings food and utilities. They clean the park. They put flowers in the empty tear gas capsules the police has been throwing at them.